Orangemen fail to walk ‘open’ road (Sunday World)
Orangemen at Drumcree had a chance to march down the Garvaghy Road for the first time in 13 years – and turned it down.
The Order has kicked up a stink over the fact that it’s been banned from walking its ‘traditional route’ through the nationalist area since 1998.
Its leaders have travelled the world denouncing the Parades Commission’s decision and have claimed that the ban is breach of Orangemen’s “human rights under the European Convention”.
Yet when Orangemen had the opportunity to march down the Garvaghy Road earlier this month, they bottled it.
Every Sunday, Portadown Orangemen march down Drumcree hill and hand a letter of protest over to police who are waiting at the bridge.
But on 3 July when the Orange delegation arrived at the bridge, they found no police there. The road ahead lay clear for them to walk along.
Yet instead of seizing the chance to continue marching and enter the nationalist area, the Orangemen lost their nerve.
They phoned the PSNI to demand that police show up so they could hand over their letter complaining that they aren’t allowed to march down the road.
A PSNI officer was hastily dispatched to Drumcree to accept the letter. The Orangemen then went home. Their behaviour has made the Order a laughing stock among both the local loyalist and nationalist community.
“They’re a joke,” said a loyalist source. “They’ve been whining for years about how much they want to walk down the Garvaghy Road and when the opportunity arises, they don’t have the guts to do it.”
A nationalist source in Portadown said: “You’d have thought when they saw there was no police there, they’d have been on the phone to as many other Orangemen telling them to get to Drumcree quickly to march down the road.
“But they phoned the cops. These people are cowards. They’ll only march through a nationalist area if they have hundreds of police to protect them.”
Bizarrely, the Orangemen’s climbdown came as they announced they are intensifying their protest at Drumcree. As well as walking to police lines to protest every Sunday, they’re now doing it on Wednesdays too.


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