Robinson trying to solve Drumcree

The News Letter and Belfast Telegraph are reporting that First Minister Peter Robinson has offered to meet the Orange Order and Garvaghy residents in an attempt to solve the Drumcree dispute.

The News Letter quotes Robinson saying:

“I have written to both the Orange District and resident’s group in good faith and I hope that they will feel able to respond in a positive manner.
By demonstrating a commonsense approach, I am certain that we can find a way through this issue. I will do all I can to help progress this matter to a consensual conclusion, but I would be equally content if in the preliminary discussions the two parties agree on some other approach or arrangement which might meet reach the outcome that everyone in Portadown and indeed throughout Northern Ireland wishes to see.”

The Grand Master of Portadown district gave the intervention a warm welcome though Brendan McKenna of the Garvaghy residents association seemed more cautious.

  • PaddyReilly

    And no wonder: the “Drumcree dispute” has already been solved, by a compromise which allows the marchers to approach and depart from their church on a route which lessens, though does not entirely eliminate, the disturbance to the residents.

    What the OO is trying to do is not solve the Drumcree dispute, but reawaken it.

  • What Drumcree dispute? It must be a slow news day in NI with these ‘flat earth’ stories coming to the fore????

  • loki

    Ah sure lads, do youse not know Peter’s a great fella? He’s going to walk on water next

  • Chris Donnelly

    As Newt Emerson argued in his Irish News piece some months ago, the Loyal Orders continue to play with fire by demanding to march where they patently are not welcome. The fact that they still insist on bringing up Drumcree at this time illustrates how little far too many in the organisation have learnt from the past decade.

    The Drumcree dispute is over and has been resolved to the satisfaction of everybody in the north, excepting the most extreme element of the Loyal Orders. For Peter Robinson to pander to this grouping at this juncture illustrates again that, like the McCausland appointment and the Maze delisting suggest, the party has set itself on a course to outdo the TUV in the battle for extremist loyalist votes.

    The most significant contribution the Loyal Orders could make to improving their waning popularity within the protestant community (as recent news stories confirmed their membership continues to decline) and to even begin developing some rapport with the nationalist community would be to state it is open to discussions which include re-arranging parades so that they do not heighten community tensions nor seek to provoke others by going where they clearly aren’t welcome.

    As I pointed out in a recent thread regarding where Sinn Fein and the DUP could learn from each other, on this point the DUP could do much worse than look back at how republicans handled their annual summer commemorations.

    20 years ago we had August bonfires, which were often excuses for teenage drinking sessions and sectarian sing songs culminating in riots.

    The Feile movement grew out of a desire to move away from the destructive element of commemoration and into a more positive, outward looking expression of a self-confident, republican identity open to expressions of other identities and developing into something much more than just a celebration of republican/ nationalist identity in the north.

    I can recall loyalists blocking the road at Suffolk one year, maintaining that a republican commemoration passing adjacent to their homes was contentious. Whilst it annoyed republicans at the time, they took on board the complaints and, since then, have voluntarily rerouted through Lenadoon, thereby taking the heat out of the issue and ensuring there is no annual confrontation, which suited nobody.

    The Loyal Orders could go this route, but they would require the type of intelligent leadership from the likes of Robinson and Empey, which would be a much more positive development than what Robinson would appear to be at with this latest stunt.

    I’d be the first to acknowledge that the Orders play an important role in protestant society in the north, and in many ways appear to provide the glue that binds particularly rural protestant/ unionist communities together, with their halls providing a vital resource for the local protestant community.

    But that gets lost due to their unwillingness to organise their annual celebrations and commemorations in a manner that does not annually set back community relations- the nonsense about the 11th Night not being related to the Twelfth is just that, and washing their hands annually when the issue of the erection of flags in mixed residential areas comes up is not simply wrong, but is counter-productive.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    If only it wasn’t so obvious, Robinson looking for a project to attempt to re-establish himself, pity he is so many years too late.

    Sorry Mr Robinson your new found touchy feely cross community spirit just won’t wash after so long as a sectarian bully boy.

    Marks out of 10 – 1 for having the brass neck.

  • Luther

    I found this story on a hard hitting orange order blog – It appears to show the true feelings of orange members on topical issues

  • dub


    Perhaps you might lower your self to spelling people’s names in the manner in which they themselves do. It’s called respect. Something which you are very patently lacking in, despite your protestations of christianity.

  • joeCanuck

    The solution to this “problem” is simple and obvious.
    The parade goes where it is wanted without hindrance or harassment and it doesn’t go where it is not wanted.
    Can’t god fearing/worshipping people not accept that neighbourliness is to be adopted and cherished?

  • danielmoran

    frustrated democrat…. msg 4. i watched an interview peter the punt gave on hearts and minds before last christmas, in which over a period of 15 minutes noel thompson had him on the densive, robbo was forced to admit that he saw himself as first minister for unionists only, since, he reasoned, it was nearly all unionists who voted for him. that about sums him up.
    the uncontroversial marches in loyalist areas are nothing but a figleaf, the ones that count for the bigots are the disputed ones, so they can’t afford to lose those because their membership would be decimated at a stroke.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    someones got to solve it, and its better it its a unionist. The march was there long before the residents arrived, so they knew where they were living.

  • [i]someones got to solve it, and its better it its a unionist. The march was there long before the residents arrived, so they knew where they were living. [/i]

    I’ve just woke up from my slumber and apparently it’s 1967 again? I’ll leave others to do the ridiculing.

  • Paul

    10 years with out violence….. problem solved

  • USA

    You consistantly make remarks that are lacking in any credibility whatsoever.
    The problem in Drumcree is solved, hopefully society will also soon deal with the other controversial marches.

  • danielmoran

    concubar…. msg 2. of course robbo is trying to gain back some credits from unionist voters after the recent reverses. naturally the word ‘settled’ for him means to unionist satisfaction only. like trimble, robinson can never be seen as an honest broker, so he’s wasting his time.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The march was there long before the residents arrived, so they knew where they were living.’

    Right so the ‘we wuz here first’ reason is one your now a fan off UMH?

    A simple yes or no will suffice 😉

  • danielmoran

    loki… msg 3
    robinson trying to solve drumcree [title should read; ……to the satisfaction of unionists only, so as to shore up party vote.
    might as well send in dracula to solve staff shortages at blood transfusion centre.