DRUMCREE, IN 300 ALLA PARATA. ORANGE ORDER: “APERTI AL DIALOGO”
A senior Orangeman has called for dialogue from Garvaghy Road residents at the Order’s annual parade in Portadown.
Around 300 Orangemen took part in the parade on Sunday following the traditional service at Drumcree Parish Church.
A delegation handed a letter of protest to police at a 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.
Portadown District Master Darryl Hewitt called for local residents to talk to the Order on the parade route.
“Once again this year the Parades Commission has not been able to move the situation forward at all,” he said during his speech.
“Some people may argue that they do not have the will to move it forward – however, I would respectfully suggest that not only do they not have the will, they do not have the ability to start to seek a resolution to this impasse.
“It is over five years since Portadown District stated that it was willing to meet the GRRC (Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition) with no preconditions.”
He continued: “Our frustration is all the more significant given the recent developments in north Belfast where our fellow brethren have indicated their willingness to enter face-to-face talks with nationalist residents in Ardoyne.
“It is a bold and pro-active move, and one that has not gone unnoticed here in Co Armagh. We are ready to engage in similar ‘quiet conversations’, but regrettably others continue to be found wanting.”