Drumcree Orange parade takes place (UTV)
Around 300 Orangemen took part in the annual Drumcree parade in Portadown on Sunday morning.

Following the traditional service at Drumcree Parish Church, a delegation of Orangemen handed a letter of protest to police.

Senior officers were at the barricade which blocks the Orange Order’s return route to the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road in the town.

Members of the Orange Order have been banned from marching down the route since 1998.

But David Jones from the Portadown Orange lodge said they remain hopeful that the ruling can be overturned.

“We are forever hopeful that we are going to get a parade along the Garvaghy Road because we believe at the end of the day right will come to the surface again,” Mr Jones told UTV.

“As far as we are concerned we should have the liberty to be able to parade in a peaceful manner along any part of Northern Ireland as we are part of the UK.

“However the reason why this problem continues is due to the inertia of the Parades Commission to get it resolved and also the residents associations, who refuse to become involved in any talks.”

However local MLA Dolores Kelly said in her view the matter has already been resolved.

“The only way to resolve this dispute is through face to face dialogue between those who wanted the march and those who are protesting against it,” the SDLP politician said.

“The Orange Order didn’t grasp the opportunity in the very early days of Drumcree but since then they have wanted to talk but only on their terms.

“We still are of the view that any talks should be with no pre-determined outcome however in recent years the number of people who march has greatly reduced and there is an ease in the area and it’s our view that the matter has been resolved.”


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