Drumcree march to be reviewed after Lodge gives false information to Commission

The High Court has told the Parades Commission to review its decision not to restrict Saturday’s Orange Order parade at Drumcree to mark 3,000 days since Orangemen were barred from marching along the Garvaghy Road. The ruling came after Mr Justice Weatherup said the commission was told there was no general call-out but the Portadown District Lodge’s website contradicted that.Mr Justice Weatherup said Portadown District Lodge on its website had called for Orange Order members throughout Northern Ireland to join the march at Drumcree Hill.

“The commission has been given an ill-founded assurance and accordingly that is a relevant consideration which requires to be taken into account in relation to their decision to issue no determination.” The commission will discuss the matter on Saturday. It seems the advantage is back with the Garvaghy residents after the initial “tactical mistake” of objecting to Commissioner’s Mrs Scott-McKinley’s role in the decision because she has relatives in the Orange Order.

  • Pete Baker

    Seems fairly straightforward, George. That the Portadown Lodge have breached their previous assurance means that there will be a review of the Commission’s decision.

    However, the claim by Breandan MacCionnaith and the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition that the activities, or rather that the membership of groups, of the relatives of a member of one of the Commission can be considered as a conflict of interest was, frankly, one of the most pernicious calls made by any of the protagonistics in this dispute for some time.

    The idea that an individual is not, in fact, just responsible for their own actions, decisions, and affiliations, but also responsible for the actions, decisions, and affiliations of their relations has plumbed a new and dangerous depth in sectarianism and tribal politics here.

  • ciaran damery

    This is obviously the only decision this ‘high court’ could make. There is no doubt about the fact that the Orange Klan were talking thru’ their communal ass when they indicated that this was not designed to intimidate and terrorize the people of the Garvaghy Road and its environs. Fascists cannot be tolerated any longer

    But this is not even an isolated issue. In north Belfast the Irish community have been subjected tio numerous parades of hate and attacks by Unionist mobs. Some of these Tramps even threw their own facal matter at the Holy Cross schoolgirls.

    Meanwhile the Irish people in Ballymena, Short Strand, the Falls and its envoirns, Lurgan, Portadown and Lare, just to mention a few, have to endure frequent, of not incessant, attacks by Unionist and Orange mobs.

    This must stop. These are parades of hate, specifically designed to terrorize and intimidate. The can march around their own areas all they longfor all I care. But the day of the Orange Klan’s annual fancy dress prances thru’ areas with an establihed Irish community, irrespective of its size, is history, gone, not happening again. Never again!

  • Pete Baker

    ciaran

    If you’re going to trot out repeatedly your favoured, unthinking, diatribe.. please do us all the favour of, firstly, paying attention to the post – no decision has been made.. and, secondly, pay attention to your typing – it will make your argument a little more convincing.

  • George

    Pete,
    couldn’t agree more. For example, from a personal side I just wouldn’t know what to think if someone looked at me through the prism of my mother’s very religious “old school” views.

    I’d have some pretty outrageous views to answer for. That’s before I bring up my “former” communist brother or arch-capitalist sister.

    It beggars belief.

    I fear this view is commonplace in Portadown in both communities and is hardly surprising.

    I disagree where you say this is a new depth. This is a long-held view common to both sides that has just come to the public eye here.

  • ciaran damery

    Thanks for the advice Pete.

  • Pete Baker

    George

    It’s a new depth in that it’s the first time I can remember that it’s being used as the basis of a legal challenge – a legal challenge that should fail, btw.

  • Billy

    George

    I didn’t agree with the complaint about a member of the Parades Commission having relatives in the OO.

    However, I can’t see any problem with this decision. In fact, Justice Weatherup has been very diplomatic.

    He said that the commission had been given an “ill-founded assurance” by the Portadown District Orange Lodge.

    In reality – the Portadown OO LIED to the Parades Commission and thought that the commission wouldn’t be intelligent enough to find out.

    As a nationalist, I initially had no real problem with this march as long as it made no attempt to enter Garvaghy Road and measures were put in place to prevent rioting by “loyalist” thugs.

    However, in this case the Portadown OO have shown that they cannot be trusted.

    If legal determinations are to be made, then the Parades Commission needs to have both sides presenting their case in a truthful manner.

    If either side are shown to have deliberately lied to promote their case, then I think that the decision should go against them to discourage them from adopting such tactics in the future.

    I think that the Parades Commission should impose severe restrictions on this march and show the OO that, if they present their case in a fraudulent manner, they will be punished for it.

  • George

    Billy,
    I have no issue with the High Court ruling either.

    Pete,
    I can’t see the legal challenge winning either because Scott-McKinley could launch a case of her own for a start – one she’d be very confident of winning.

    But I don’t think that fact that a challenge has been made is an indication that the view is more prevalent or new depths have been reached.

    It just means those with the views have better equipment these days with which to explore their depths.

    For example, the DUP councillors who didn’t want Leonard at their party would have gone further legally if they hadn’t been told the costs were prohibitive and the chances of victory slim.

  • Pete Baker

    George

    It’s not about the views themselves, I’m mostly in agreement on that with you, but this is a deliberate attempt to have such views set down as a precendent in law. That’s the problem as I see it.

  • George

    Pete,
    I see it as the protagonists having more money than legal sense.

    I don’t know how the funding is on this case but I’d wager the cash is there to put this information on Scott-McKinley out in the public domain via lodging this case.

    Throw enough mud and all that. This was a half-baked PR move to try cover the bases and shift the blame onto the Commission rather than some fiendish plot to set down a new legal precedent.

    Anyway, call me old fashioned but I still have faith in the independence of the judiciary. This is one bird that would never fly.

  • Pete Baker

    That info is already out there, George.

    It won’t fly.. but the attempt to make it fly is contemptuous.

  • George

    Pete,
    I never heard of Scott-McKinley before this. The information may have been out there but this was a good vehicle to “bring it to a wider audience”.

    As I said, I believe they must know it won’t fly and accordingly must have good financing to push a case they are certain to lose.

    They see it as helping their case, nothing more nothing less. It all beggars belief but this is Portadown, the Orange Order and Garvaghy Road we are talking about here.

    In comparison to what has gone on in this issue in the past decade, this is legal chicanery playing to a prejudiced at best, b-igotted at worst, audience.

    We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of the lies and conspiracy stories that both sides surrounding this issue have heard from their “representatives” in the last 10 years.

    Look at all the violence and deaths caused by this and still we are where we are.

  • páid

    Pete,

    you are far too quick to rubbish sippenschaft, an excellent concept.

    Saves countless police hours.

    BTW, was it your mother who taught you how to handle your gun?

  • Dec

    The idea that an individual is not, in fact, just responsible for their own actions, decisions, and affiliations, but also responsible for the actions, decisions, and affiliations of their relations has plumbed a new and dangerous depth in sectarianism and tribal politics here.

    A new and dangerous depth, Pete? You must have missed those complaints from Unionists over Nuala O’Loan and her SDLP links. And isn’t this something the RUC did for years in regards to vetting Civil Service job applications , for example? Or is it only plumbing depths when Republicans do it?

  • Fanny

    As I write these words, doctors attached to Médecins Sans Frontière are saving lives in the third world, Amnesty International activists are rescuing victims of political abuse, Greenpeace members are helping to save the planet, aid workers are feeding the world’s starving.

    And in NI little boys whose parents didn’t give them a puppy for Christmas are wasting taxpayers’ money on yet another Drumcree court action, so that other immature idiots can spoil a fine day with a nonsensical march.

    My cat is in hysterics.

  • Rory

    Amnesty International activists are rescuing victims of political abuse, Greenpeace members are helping to save the planet, Fanny.

    God bless you, Fanny, you really do have a rosy-tinted view of the world. It does at least show that all the trees cut down for these two organisations mail-shots have not perished in vain.

    You did forget to mention the heroic work being carried out by the International Peace-Keeping Coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan (and perhaps very soon in a Persia near you).

    Take your dear little cat on nice peaceful holiday in sunny downtown Kabul away from all those nasty Orangemen and Garvaghy protesters.

  • Fanny

    So the philanthropic doctors and aid workers can go and fuck themselves as far as you’re concerned, can they, Rory? Nice.

    Meanwhile the misanthropic knuckle-draggers of Portadown can continue to express their incisive understanding of real-world affairs. Ahem.

    Now, how do I silence this blessed cat?

  • Barúil Eile

    And in NI little boys whose parents didn’t give them a puppy for Christmas are wasting taxpayers’ money on yet another Drumcree court action

    … or maybe they’re rescuing more victims of Orange and Unionist political abuse like Amnesty International do. Orange coat trailing exercises should be relegated to the history bin.

  • Fanny

    I’m sorry, Baril Eile, I should have made it clearer that I’m referring to both sides: those bringing the court action but ESPECIALLY those contesting it.

  • Rory

    So the philanthropic doctors and aid workers can go and fuck themselves as far as you’re concerned, can they, Rory? Fanny

    I think you will find, Fanny, that I made no comment on either of these two groups. I happen to believe that Medecin sans Frontieres are the most principled of the western groups offering medical aid in war zones. As to “workers feeding the world’s starving”, this is so general as to be meaningless.

    As to Amnesty International – harumph! – the IRA has a much better record of breaking people out of imprisonment than Amnesty ever managed. Amnesty does not release people from unlawful detention it simply highlights those selective cases of detention that the West would like to promote to demonstrate their liberal superiority. Their recent activity on Quantanamo and the the secret torture chambers of the US military have been (unsurprisingly) little publicised and even less effective. Still it helps cat-lovers feel purrfect about their liberal credentials I’m told.

    Whatever of the apparent pettiness of the squabbles at Portadown they are no less real to those involved than any other “world event”. Indeed it could be said that those who comfort themselves that by contributing to the salaries of Greenpeace administration and publicity staff they are somehow “saving the world” who are really delusional. It’s the old Jack Horner syndrome, you know:

    He put in his thumb
    and pulled out a plum
    Said “What a good boy am I”.

  • Fanny

    Rory, your making no comment on two of the groupings I mentioned didn’t tell me anything about your feelings for them. Now I know.

    Your ad hominem attacks I’ll allow to go unanswered, as they deserve to be.

    Now to the issue at hand. Can’t the Portadown Orangemen do the world a favour by taking up golf or something? They tell me it’s a good walk spoilt; at least it’s a good walk.

    (If you knew my feelings about golf and golfers then you’d appreciate the utter contempt in which I hold the would-be marchers and their petty little boys’ club.)

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    Are you suggesting that Amnesty = CIA perchance?