PORTADOWN Orangemen will meet next week to make their final decision on their threat to parade on Drumcree Sunday without permission.

The district officers have refused to fill in the official eleven-bar-one form, seeking permission for the outward march of the banned return march on Sunday, June 4 the first time that they ahve snubbed the parades commission in the Drumcree context.

Orangemen in new Drumcree move

A senior officer told the News Letter: �The mood among the rank-and-file members is one of anger.

�We have done everything by the book in applying to the parades commission yet we see Brendan McKenna of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition GRRC taking part in an erigi walks and demonstration, which we contend are illegal and the authorities take no action whatsoever.

�This was the case back in November when erigi held their protest at the troops Welcome Home parade in Belfast. And republicans have demonstrated in Armagh and Maghaberry without any action being taken.�

He added: �Wednesday nights meeting will be at Carleton Street Orange Hall, and we will be guided by the membership. We have been conducting a protest at Drumcree every Sunday this millenium, filled in all the appropriate forms, and we have been ignored.�

Brendan McKenna insisted that the dispute was between Portadown District and the commission and nothing to do with the GRRC, but added: �It seems to me like a spot of brinkmanship by the Orangemen. They are simply raising the stakes. The deadline for submitting the application for Drumcree passed a fortnight ago, but its up to the two sides to work it out.�

A spokesman for the commission said they would not be hard-and-fast ruling on the deadline, adding that any notification for a parade was considered on its merit and were no pre-ordained outcomes.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MLA John ODowd has accused the Orange Order of �deliberately raising tensions, indicating that they would instead organise an illegal march.�

He added: �In what has been a good week for the peace process, with the publication of Saville and the visit of the Protestant church leaders to the Bogside, we see the rejectionists within the Orange Order making their contribution.�

Published date on the 7th of June 2010
Article taken from the The News Letter


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