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Garvaghy ban hits Drumcree marchers.

THE Parades Commission last night banned an Orange parade at Drumcree from Portadown's nationalist Garvaghy Road.

Yet again the Orangemen have been told their parade on Sunday must be re-routed on its way back from Drumcree Parish Church.

And for the first time they have been ordered to keep away from a section of their outward route.

The Parades Commission said the march would "raise tensions" in Portadown if it was permitted to go ahead.

The Orange Order refused to comment on the decision and officials will gather today to discuss the situation.

In a statement issued last night, the seven-member Commission, headed by Tony Holland, said: "The Commission cannot see how a parade could pass along either the notified outward or the notified return route without having an adverse impact on relationships within the community and a consequence of public disorder."

The report also noted "severe breaches of the Code by participants of parades organised in support of Portadown District."

Orangemen will not be allowed to enter Obins Street at the start of the march or any part of Garvaghy Road.

In a separate move, nationalist residents of West Belfast's Springfield Road have called on the Commission to ban the July 12 Orange parade from the road because of photographs showing paramilitary emblems amid ranks of Orangemen in a parade last Friday.

The Commission has yet to make a decision on the July 9 parade at Drumcree.

One Orangeman said last night: "We are very disappointed in the decision. We have no reason to raise tensions. We simply want to parade in our own home town which is our God-given right."

The Garvaghy Road Residents Association last night welcomed the decision to re-route the march.

A spokesman said: "It is obvious that the Commission could not have reached any other decision."
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Author:Beattie, Jilly
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2000
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