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Worried residents on the route of Ulster's Drumcree march have requested a field hospital to treat wounded from the Orange parade.

Tensions also rose yesterday when Orangemen said they were prepared to hold a year-long vigil to overturn a ban on marching along the nationalist Garvaghy Road.

Its residents are so sure Sunday's march will result in bloodshed that they want emergency aid stations at the scene.

But nearby Craigavon Hospital rejected the request, insisting they are well prepared. The hospital have mobilised their 1600 staff and activated emergency plans.

Earlier this week, the controversial Parades Commission announced the Orangemen would be banned from marching their traditional return route from Drumcree Church to Portadown, down the Garvaghy Road.

For the last four years, Craigavon Hospital has been transformed into a frontline medical centre.

They treat injuries from petrol bombs and rubber bullets as well as gunshots.

The hospital's plans also include separating casualties according to religion to prevent further violence.

Meanwhile, Orangemen are determined to face down the Parades Commission over the Garvaghy Road ban.

Denis Watson, County Armagh District Master of the Orange Order, warned:

"Portadown district is prepared to stand at Drumcree for 365 days if necessary for their right to return and walk along the Garvaghy Road back into Portadown."

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said they were "united and determined" that the Drumcree parade should go ahead as planned.
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Author:Macaskill, Jamie
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 1, 1998
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