1st July parade for Drumcree?

There is continuing speculation that there will be a Drumcree parade this year (registration reqd). It is claimed DFM Martin McGuinness and Spike Murray have been talking to community groups in Portadown. One option is that the Somme memorial parade would be completed on the actual anniversary which falls on a Sunday this year. It seems the new CoI Archbishop is also keen for it to be resolved.

  • againstthehead

    With what has happened over the past few weeks, some kind of agreement over Drumcree appears a realistic notion. Currently we have momentum in the political process, with all sides seemingly willing to give ‘a little’. I think the significanc of coming to some kind of resolution over drumcree cannot be underestimated. It would be a real step forward in the right direction.

    On another subject – what’s the chances of greater integration with SF/DUP in charge of things? Or will the next generation also live in Loyalist and Republican Gettoes??

  • lib2016

    If the loudmouthed minority who destroyed traditional unionism by their intransigence continue this campaign they will simply contribute to the further isolation of their community.

    Orangeism is dead. Drumcree’s importance was that it was the first time in more than a century that Westminster showed how worthless the Orange card had become.

    Garvaghy Road? It’s become as important as the AOH march in Kilkeel – just another little local dispute which affects nothing. Unionists who want to recruit the younger generation will have to do better than this.

  • I wonder…

    Although I’ve been opposed to paradeing on the grounds that there is no alienable right to freedom of assembly without negotiation as required, I think a parade would be a good thing in these changed circusmtances.

    After talks and agreement, a small, quiet, respectful group of middle aged and elderly men proceeding home from their church along a road that they marched in the past only with the protection of hundreds of police and soldiers. Only this time, their passing being applauded by the residents and the whole thing dissolving into what it should always have been: a quiet passage of one tiny part of one tradition in proximity of the other.

  • Roisin

    I wonder,

    Applauded by the residents for what? Pointing and laughing at them I could understand, but applauded …

  • Watcher.

    If one is so annoyed by little men marching home from their church with their bands playing church hymns., one should simply stay at home and watch the politics programme, it would be over by the time you had a nice cup of tea.

  • forlorn fairy

    Is this why Brendan McKenna resigned? What was all the protesting about, if they let them walk now, why haven’t they always done so….. What was the big deal?

  • frank

    “If one is so annoyed by little men marching home from their church with their bands playing church hymns., one should simply stay at home and watch the politics programme, it would be over by the time you had a nice cup of tea”

    Perhaps it was something to do with hundreds of loyalist paramilitaries on Drumcree hill and the Portadown district master Harold Gracy supporting mass murdere billy Wright on a platfrom.

    The cups of tea at the time were between Gracy, Wright & Trimble in the rectory of Drumcree Church.

    Difficult to ignore mass murderers demanding the right to march through an area were they murdered in the past.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Nice to see Spike talking to locals instead of bullying them!

    The Northern Commander now a man of peace?

  • Reader

    frank: Difficult to ignore mass murderers demanding the right to march through an area were they murdered in the past.
    In among all the negotiations, I think that would be among the easiest pre-condition to meet. So OK then – no mass murderers allowed to take part.

  • colm

    Let them walk, but any inflammatory banners, non church music etc then it’s another 10 years before they walk again.

  • Ginfizz

    The heat has been taken out of the Drumcree problem, there’s no doubt about that, but in terms of instilling confidence in the review of parading that’s going on presently, this would be a positive step indeed.

    Furthermore, has the demography of the Garvaghy Road not undergone a rapid overhaul in recent times, with a majority of homes on it now occupied by people from Portugal, who would clearly not have the same levels (or any levels for that matter) of anamous towards the OO as Mr. McKenna and his supporters? I would appreciate guidance on this point.

  • NotConvinced

    Alan Murray, the Sunday Life’s correspondent, could do worse than to take a trip to the Garvaghy Road and seek the views of local people instead of speculating from afar. He’ll find out that his unfounded article is a million miles away from the views of the vast majority of locals. I’d also refer him to a statement from the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly a few weeks ago on this issue.

    and perhaps he should have a read another thread on Slugger before writing his article

    SF is coming under grass-roots pressure to make a stand against an Orange march on Garvaghy Road this year. Several letters in the Irish News challenging Martin McGuinness might have been bad enough – but when An Phoblacht/Republican News carries a letter in a similar vein, then its clear that doubts are stirring in the grassroots-undergrowth about exactly where the Adams/McGuinness leadership is leading people. I might be wrong but I don’t recall no such letters of doubt about the leadership appearing in the AP/RN in relation to ceasefires, decommissioning or the special Ard Fhéis on policing.

    FYI – this is what appeared in this week’s AP/RN (http://www.anphoblacht.com/letters/2007-05-10)

    Are Drumcree’s dark days over?

    “A chara,
    I remember well the sight of Ian Paisley and David Trimble gloating as they triumphantly pranced down the Garvaghy Road in 1995. In 1996 Mr Paisley said “We are not here to play games. We are here to save Ulster. If the parade doesn’t go down Garvaghy Road, there will be civil commotion to an extent the authorities cannot handle.”

    Thank God those dark days are over. Or are they?

    Recent articles in anti-nationalist papers are almost rejoicing at the idea of Sinn Féin agreeing to the Orange Order marching down Garvaghy Road in return for some concession on the Irish language. Presumably that can’t be true, can it? For the life of me, I just can’t see the link between a sectarian, coat trailing march and the Irish language. And I just can’t picture Martin and Ian hand-in-hand on the Garvaghy Road.

    More seriously, we still have the issue of the human rights of the residents of the Garvaghy Road and the simple fact that the Orange Order has still never engaged in direct, meaningful talks. In fact, as time has passed, the route taken by the Orangemen on their way out to Drumcree is now predominantly nationalist, so any further attempts to return down the Garvaghy Road must be seen for what they are – sectarian triumphalism.

    And let us not forget the murders of Rosemary Nelson, Elizabeth O’Neill, Frank Reilly, Michael McGoldrick and the three Quinn children, all killed as a direct result of the Orange Order’s demands. There were plenty of other murders of innocent Catholics in the Portadown area, including Adrian Lamph and Robert Hamill, killed by the same people who declare their right to walk the Queen’s highway, even if it means beating the residents off the road.

    The nationalist community in Portadown is only recently recovering from the years of harassment and intimidation from Orangemen, insisting on imposing their superiority on the ‘Fenian scum’ who were unfortunate enough to live on the Garvaghy Road.

    After ten years, I thought the Drumcree nightmare was over. Any attempt to resurrect it or slip it through as a peace dividend gesture should be exposed for what it is – naked sectarian bigotry.

    Is mise,
    Highland Paddy,
    Port an Dúnáin,
    Co. Ard Mhaca.”

    Thie following direct challenge to Martin McGuiness appeared in the Letters Page of Thursday’s Irish News (10/5/07) and is the latest of a number of similar letters in recent weeks –

    Will Martin lead the Orangemen into the Bogside

    “I am puzzled at Martin McGuinness’ comments about a solution to contentious marches in Portadown and Derry – ‘The best example of that is in the city where I come from, Derry’.

    Is Martin comparing a march in the residential area of Garvaghy Road with one through a commercial area of Derry?

    Because a march in Derry which does not pass by homes in the Bogside or the Creggan is acceptable to Derry people, does not mean that a march passing by homes in the nationalist estates of Ballyoran Park, Garvaghy Park, Churchill Park, The Beeches, Rose Cottages and Woodside should be acceptable to people living in the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown.

    If he is saying that contentious marches should be confined to town centres, then few people would would have a problem with that.

    If not, let him organise a march by at least 1,500 Orangemen in the Bogside or Creggan – or Gerry Adams might have a go through Andersonstown and the Falls Road to see if the residents there would find it acceptable.

    The Good Friday Agreement guaranteed “the right to live free from sectarian harassment” and Portadown nationalists expect our political leaders to defend that right.

    Yours sincerely,
    Ballyoran Park Resident
    Garvaghy Road
    Portadown”

  • grb

    There are quite a lot of foriegners now happily living on the Garvaghy Rd,i would say they maybe make up 3-5% of the population,not unfortunately as many as Ginfizz would like.
    Maybe Ginfizz should be asking why so many of the foriegners have decided to live peacefully on the Garvaghy Rd and without the fear of getting a petrol bomb through their windows.

  • home sweet home

    Let the days of marching on Garvaghy Rd end!!! Adrian Lamphs family have to live every day in the agony of his murder and need no reminders of the bad old days!!