Why Garvaghy wants nothing to do with ‘the Derry model’…

A bit late, but still worth sharing more widely: below the fold there’s a statement, first issued late on Tuesday night by the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition in Portadown:

“Since 1998, and particularly from the start of this millennium, the rerouting of contentious marches away from the Garvaghy Road and Obins Street by the Parades Commission has meant that our community – and the wider community – has enjoyed successive peaceful summers. The clouds of humiliation and fear, tension and violence, and the physical sieges of our community that accompanied those sectarian marches, have also disappeared. Residents in our neighbourhoods now enjoy family and community life in relative peace and tranquillity. Our community has “moved on” – others need to do likewise.

“Just over 18 months ago, an overwhelming majority of local residents signed a community petition which supported the view that a less contentious alternative route to accommodate such marches exists along the Corcrain and Dungannon Roads.

“Continued insistence by some, or any appeasement of the view, that only an Orange march along the Garvaghy Road can form “a resolution” demonstrates a complete disregard for the views of those who would be most directly affected – residents and our families.

“Given the widespread concern, apprehension and fears which are being openly expressed by many within our community in recent days, the GRRC feels that it has no choice but to make the following intervention at the present time.

“We wish to point out that the ‘Derry model’ currently being mooted by the media and political commentators as a possible ‘solution’ was previously proposed for Portadown by the British government over a decade ago. Documentary evidence exists to substantiate this fact.

“That proposal was also withdrawn by the British Government as unworkable when it was shown that the representation on such a political and civic forum would, in fact, have favoured the pro-Orange Order lobby and placed nationalists in Portadown at a distinct disadvantage.

“Furthermore, proponents of the ‘Derry model’ have yet to answer the most basic question themselves – would such a forum or apparatus have achieved “a resolution” had it been dealing with contentious parades through major residential areas, rather than parades through the commercial part, of that city.

“We would also, finally, point out that, at no time since 1998, has the Orange Order in Portadown ever sought to legally challenge the validity of the route restrictions imposed upon it in respect of planned marches through Obins Street or Garvaghy Road. That fact alone speaks volumes regarding the Orange Order’s unreasonable and indefensible demands.”

  • What part of that very clear statement does anyone who doesn’t agree with it, misunderstand?

    What is the point of any marching parade in these unprecedented days of the 21st Century? Why are they necessary? Are they necessary?

  • abc123

    Brendan McKenna .. need I say any more?

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    If I had plenty of places to parade where people would be extatic to see me then thats where I would do my finest parading.

    I would parade up that street and down that street and across that street. I would parade diagonaly on that street. I would parade round and round on that street. I would even do all sorts of diverse parading.

    I would even attempt to parade vertically on that street.

    You know if I was not careful people would get sick of me on that bloomimg street.

  • Brian Walker

    Is the point of the Derry model not its direct application but the principle of local negotiation with mediation if necessary? Is this so far away from what the Garvaghy Road residents have been asking for years? I genuinely ask.

  • Wabbits

    To be fair to the GRRC, they have made a very valid comparison. Quite simply getting an agreement in place for marches through commercial streets where hardly anyone lives is very different from marching through or close to residential areas where you aren’t wanted.

    This whole “Derry model” argument is bollox.

    The Orders and Apprentice Boys march across a bridge over a river, and from there along streets that are lined with shops and into and out of a neighbourhood (the Fountain) where the residents want them.

    Even with that it has to be heavilly policed and cordoned off. Many shops don’t bother to open as shoppers stay away and the youth from both sides hurl abuse in a mexican stand off at the Diamond.

    It’s hardly a success story. Is it ? Considering that nobody worth talking about lives along the route of the parades in Derry city centre.

    This “Derry model” would only work in Derry and nowhere else of note.

  • ding dong

    The key factor missing in the “very reasonable and logical” statement by the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition is that behind all they have said since 1995 the sectarian make up of the area in question has radically and permanebtly changed.

    Many sensible people objected to the rerouting of the Orange order parade on the Garvaghy road because they believed that it was a simple attempt to ghettoise this area creating an exclusively Catholic area. The facts are that this has worked. At no stage was tolerance, a shared community or living together part of the agenda and while there are claims that since 2000 Portadown has enjoyed relative peace and tranquillity the facts are they have only enjoyed the peace and tranquility because they don’t have to look at their protestant neighbours.

    The “no march” solution has indeed enabled this community – now virtually of a single sectarian background – to move on but in reality this is nothing to be proud of.

    The current situation is Portadown is an example of abject failure to live and let live – it has nothing to do with the much professed ideals of republicanism of equality, inclusivitty and tolerance. On the contrary the current situation in Portadown confirms what most right thinking people thought in 1995 – if the Orange order were banned from the Garvaghy Road the Protestant community would soon be force/encouraged out soon after.

    The “Derry model” will not work in Portadown not because it isn’t a good model or a positive way forward but because the real damage has been done, the mixed community of the lower Garvaghy Road has been destroyed, a ghetto has been created and there is no room for anyone of an alternative view.

    That’s why the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition don’t want to see the “Derry Model” used, because they may have to face up to the reality of the sectarian cleansing of 1995 and following. Hardly anything to be proud of!

  • Cynic2

    Would that be the Brendan who showed his commitment to the Garvaghy residents by holding a catholic family in Churchill Park hostage at gunpoint while their car was used to blow up that well know symbol of oppression, the local British Legion. And who then got his timing wrong so the jackbooted RUC caught him still in the house with them? Surely not.

  • Cynic2

    By the way, I am struck by their apparent motto of ‘Not an Inch’. Now where have heard that before?

  • RobertEmmett

    perhaps a orange march down garvahy, but without the PSNI guarding them every step of the way?

  • Kevsterino

    Just how exactly were Protestants “forced out” of Garvaghy Road and what does that have to do with Orange parades?

    I fail to see how these processions integrate communities or promote peaceful understanding between communities.

    Ding Dong, you seem to assert that if the loyal orders march in an area, all becomes sweetness and light.

    I don’t see it.

  • fourwinds

    Almost nobody outside of the NI Unionist community has any sympathy for the unwelcome marchers. Incredible that this issue has emerged as a deal breaker. Fighting for the right to march wherever won’t do any good for the Union in the longer term.

    I normally don’t have any time for Sinn Fein but on this issue they are right.

  • wild turkey

    Ding Dong

    your sources of statistical evidence to substantiate your assertion of sectarian cleansing?

    thanks

  • wje

    Two links which put Orange marches in Portadown into their proper historical and political context. Very interesting reading.

    http://orangecitadel.blogspot.com/
    http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/jan2010/policing_and_justice_and_orange_parades.pdf

  • Garza

    Isn’t the right to assemble one of the most basic rights every individual should have in any democracy??

  • manichaeism

    They have a right to assemble. Just not any place they like! I mean I might want to have a republican march in the grounds of Buckingham Palace but I am sure a lot of people would object and stop me!

  • Stewart

    Isn’t the right to assemble one of the most basic rights every individual should have in any democracy??

    Islam4UK?

    ”The Prime Minister’s view would be obviously that anything that is considered to be offensive to, or of concern to, families of troops wounded or killed in Afghanistan would be completely inappropriate.”

    I don’t understand how the Wootton Bassett march was deemed offensive yet it is not offensive for the Apprentice Boys and a band commemorating UVF killer Brian Robinson to march past the home of the relatives of Brian Robinson’s victim?

    Would it be acceptable for Islamic extremists to march past the family homes of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan carrying banners glorifying the taliban?

  • ding dong

    The easiest way probably to confirm or otherwise the community shift would be to look at the demographics comparing the 1991 census and the 2001 census if they contain the details. THe key issue would be the mix on the lower Garvaghy road, the estates near the carpet factory

    Nobody said that Loyal Order parades create or lead to sweetness and light, but what I am saying is that opposition to Loyal Order parades in areas where protestant communities are under pressure has speeded up the removal of that community leading to ghettoisation.

    Personally I think that tying devolution to P&J is a dup scam to prevent devolution of P&J. Likewise I believe that the dup currently needs something to beat their breast with to prove how super unionists they are – its all asham but if you look to history – either aspiring unionist leaders or unionist leaders in a tight spot have always found getting involved in controversial parades has always done them no harm. So we shouldn’t be surprised that Peter Robinson has resurrected this – the issue though remains

  • Even ‘the Boys’ don’t see a model’ http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/39Boys39-to-show-way-on.6016796.jp All parades and means of addressing parades are ‘local’. Problem with the line taken by those such as McKenna is that it sounds suspiciously like outright hatred and contempt for others; completely unprepared for a shared future of any sort and prefering ghettoes to accommodation with others.

    The way Londonderry has handled the parades issue is a credit to all the communities of that City and allows deeper issues to even begin to be addressed. Not perfect, but at least they’ve started on a journey and aren’t stuck in a wee bunker repelling all.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    the orange order marching down Garvaghy road is like the KKK marching down Harlem.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    The Orange Order should follow the lead set by NI politicians i.e.

    Go around in Circles repeatably !

  • ding dong

    I appreciate the census figures are crude but assuming my maths is correct and looking at the two wards on the Garvaghy Road correctly the figues are:

    1991 – 79.8% RC 20.2% P

    2001 – 86.3% RC 13.7% P

    Accepting that the these wards are not exclusive to the Garvaghy Road but encompass the rural hinterland around the area the Protestant community in the two wards on the Garvaghy Road has fallen by 33% from a low base.

    I hope others might check the figures and confirm.

    What will also be of interest is has this trend continued, these figures are now 9 years out of date the next census will be 2011

  • ding dong

    The biggest change was in the Corcrain ward – apparently this encompasses the lower Garvaghy Road here the chnage is more dramatic with the protestant community shrinking from 22.2% to 13.1% a 40% shift in the protestant population.

    Sorry guys – anymore questions?

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Could a eurovision interval entertainment interlude do for Orange Ordering what it did for Irish Dancing.

    Ah but sure nobody votes for us now we got rich (ahem..was rich for awhile there)

    Orange Ordering could do with some diversification.

  • Neil

    There’s a balance to be had. The people who live in an area also have a right to move freely, actually a more basic right in my opinion than being able to ‘protest’. Everyone has their own slant on what rights are being infringed upon, and everyone believes their own rights are the ones that matter.

    It’s also fair to recall the Orange Order’s reaction to the occassions when they were told that their inalienable right to march had been considered secondary to the residents right to live their lives in peace. The lovers of law and order went on a province wide rampage and forced their way through.

    There are many parades that should be prevented, and this can be done (see Scotland banning Glasgow’s parades due to the cost for example). The Muslim parade planned for Wootton Bassett was cancelled, due mainly to the fact that it was offensive. But to consider the same issues in Northern Ireland is supposedly impossible as it would interfere with the most ‘basic right’ of being able to assemble/protest.

    On the other hand I understand also that there needs to be a certain amount of give and take, and that not all lodges or orangemen are rabidly sectarian bigots, unusually enough for a catholic I know a few and count among them a best friend. But when all’s considered the best solution as I see it has to be a Parade’s Commission by that or any other name.

  • Jaggers

    Neil

    “unusually enough for a catholic I know a few and count among them a best friend.”

    How does that work if you are getting married and you have a church wedding – that means your best friend can’t attend, is that right? So can’t be your best man. And if you have a child and they’re being baptised, your best friend can’t attend, is that right? So they can’t be a godfather. And when you die, your best friend can’t attend your funeral mass, is that right? And not for any religious reason, mind – Protestants and Catholics seem to quite happily attend each other’s ceremonies. It’s down to the sectarian degree of the Orange Order, not to attend a “popish ceremony”. And your best friend, freely signed up to this?

  • Neil

    He grew up with it, it’s a family thing. He’s been at mass too, make of that what you will. I would imagine that it’s unlikely to be a problem for anyone to break that rule, it’s up to individuals what they do.

  • ding dong

    Nah sure his best friend will do what most ordinary orangemen do and ignore that relatively new rule – unless of course he has strong fundamantalist view and for reasons of personal conviction he might opt out-

  • fin

    The biggest change was in the Corcrain ward – apparently this encompasses the lower Garvaghy Road here the chnage is more dramatic with the protestant community shrinking from 22.2% to 13.1% a 40% shift in the protestant population.

    Sorry guys – anymore questions?

    Yeah I’ve a couple Ding Ding

    There’s stats and there’s damned stats

    percentage points mean nothing unless you you know what they refer to.

    Lets be generous and say the pop of the ward is 3000

    The figures you give means that your whooping 40% is actually about 400 people, say 100 families which is 10 families a year leaving the area every year, less than 1 family per month, that includes families who move for work or better homes etc, it also excludes deaths and a higher nat birth rate.

    My question is forget the percentages how many families do you think have left because the OO have been stopped from marching there.

    Also do you think the Nat pop may have increased due to intimidation elsewhere in Portadown

  • Jaggers

    Really? I wonder what he made of the attached article where David Trimble exercised his personal conviction and faced disciplinary charges?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/northern_ireland/latest_news/237087.stm

  • Jaggers

    Fin, on the arithmetic side wouldn’t 22% of 3000 be 660 and 13% be 390 so the pop fell by 270 in 10 years and if your 4 per house is correct (in the Republic it’s 2.8 average) then that’s 68 families left the area in 10 years or 6-7 families per year. It still looks like a lot.

  • ding dong

    Jaggers – correct some looney toon tried to have David trimble and others diciplined – did anything come of this – no. quiet sensibly the Orange order ignore the twats – on this occasion and nothing more was heard of this ridiculous “charge”

    As I said many – very many ignore this rule and those who up hold it usually do so for personal religious reasons not for OO ideas.

    As for Fin the figures they are the figures and they were asked for. You assume that the movement was gradual over 10 years – what if I were to suggest that the movement was over 3 years, would that make it significant? The fact remains and anyone from the area will tell you and the figures bear it out – the protestant community in the garvaghy road area has disappeared.

    the issue surrounding parades has ghettoised the garvaghy road and for all the talk of inclusivity and an Ireland for all – the banning of the parade on the Garvaghy Road has, with the help of other forms of encouragement reduced the portestant community significantly in that area.

  • ding dong

    Fin,

    Sorry on your last point – has the nationalist/catholic community increased due to intimidation in other parts of portadown – definitely, yes, catholics were driven out of so called protestant areas – disgracefully so but up until the conflagation surround parades these communities were living together.

    I’d have thought with the ceasefires this would have improved – it didn’t. The vols were put to other activities on the streets, all the work as Gerry Adams described it, and new ghettos were created – why? because some individuals thought that tolerance was something they didn’t need nor want, some people decided they would rather have segrated communities and some people just wanted to keep the pot boiling – to them all – well done you bigots (on both sides) have damaged another generation congratulations welcome to the future sorry i mean the past

  • Seimi

    ‘Sorry guys – anymore questions?’ – ding dong

    Well, you could actually provide:-

    ‘your sources of statistical evidence to substantiate your assertion of sectarian cleansing?’ – wild turkey

    rather than census figures for the entire area, which you seem to be citing as evidence to back up what you originally posted;

    ‘because they may have to face up to the reality of the sectarian cleansing of 1995 and following’

    So. Can you show ANY evidence that ‘sectarian cleansing’ actually took place in the area?

  • Jaggers

    Ding Dong, what you say is fair enough though at a senior level is the rule not fairly rigidly adhered to? What about PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll’s funeral last year or the funeral of the late Archbishop (who was considered a friend to Northern Ireland by many on both sides)?

    Unless Northern Ireland is going to march happily towards a Balkan scenario in 20 years, then on both sides there need to initiatives to engage with the other side and see beyond a religion which is genetically 99.9% the same to see the character of the person. The Orange Order rescinding this rule would be a good (and from what you’re saying a fairly easily agreed) start. What do you think?

    Of course there needs to be some reciprociity. Any ideas welcomed.

  • Seimi

    ‘what if I were to suggest that the movement was over 3 years, would that make it significant?’

    ARE you suggesting that?

  • fin

    ding dong, I’m not a local, I’ve only driven thru Portadown a few times, thats my only experience, I do recall reading that the Garvaghy road was created thru Nats families been burnt/intimidated out of other areas, was it not therefore always a ghetto (of unionist creation)

    re the families, factor in people leaving for a better standard of living or moving for jobs, death rate etc, and are you implying that the ‘3 year’ period was at the height of Drumcree? possibly, I agree, they may well have left for safety reasons, if OO marches start again so will the tension and more will leave,

    Although ding dong there are 100% working class unionist areas that have seen large drops in population!! go figure, in Belfast it causes tension when Nat families try to move in from overcrowded Nat area’s.

    Remember, Nats tend to stay in their own area regardless of success where as unionists move to better areas if they are successful – generally

  • ding dong

    As far as I’m aware members of the OO attended Const Carroll’s funeral – I believe for instance Reg Empey was there, as far as the DUP were concerned I’m aware no minister attended but Robinson, Foster, Wilson, are not members of the OO, not sure about Newton – Poots and Mccausland are. So their non attendance cannot be solely put down to OO membership

    Curiously I believe that Jeffrey Donaldson did attend the funeral of the SDLP councillor who died from Lisburn but thats reported.

    Change to the rule – its a matter for the OO but I know there are plenty ignoring it so yes they should change it – as for reciprocation respect, tolerance and acceptance as part of the Irish nation. Remember Gerry Adams allegedly said that in a new Ireland there would be a place for the OO – personally I believe he means internment camps but maybe I’m just too cynical

  • fin

    “The vols were put to other activities on the streets”
    Yes ding dong, and unfortunately the RUC/PSNI carried on as normal as reported at Hamills inquest, right up to Chief Constable, not to mention another Nat been kicked to death and later allowing unionists to gather in mob formation to intimidate Nats.
    With that in mind think about Robinsons stance, not so much about sorting out policing but creating more tension

  • ding dong

    No fin it wasn’t, the Garvaghy road and the estates on it were built in the late sixties and were mixed when they first went up – as the troubles progressed the upper Garvaghy road became more segragated and this accelerated and spread into the lower Garvaghy Road during and after 1995. yes I think that the major community chnaged happened between 1995 and 1999, certainly that would be the impression from those who know the area.

    As for evidence – intimidation takes many forms – there are plenty of reports of windows being broken, neighbours being ostracised, children being taunted and amazingly when you think about it – when protestants put flags out on their houses – yes apparantly it did happen – their flags being stolen dertroyed etc. There are many stories of abuse etc So the evidence is there if people want to go and find it.

    Remember the final form of intimidation is not feeling safe in your own home. Thats what many of those that I spoke to said – they no longer felt safe!

  • Jaggers

    “as for reciprocation respect, tolerance and acceptance as part of the Irish nation.” What does that mean. Practically speaking how might respect, tolerance and acceptance be demonstrated?

    Down our neck of the woods, then the CoI church fell into disrepair, all the locals chipped in with repairing it. Christmas mass each year is rotated between the RC, Pres. and CoI churches. Many of us are campaigning to get the religion out of schools in the sense that it separates. Beyond that these days, religion couldn’t matter less – remember we’ve come through the cap-doffing days of old, through the Father Ted era and more seriously with starting to confront the paedo scandals, we’ve grown up in that respect.

    Again, any practical non-threatening ideas for reciprocity?

  • ding dong

    Fin totally – Robinson is playing the role of the unionist leader under pressure – grab a parade controversy!

    For years the nationalist community have provided umpteen unionist leaders with the opportunity to “grab a parade controversy” to boast his unionist credentials – its disgusting, purile, irrational and stupid but it has worked for Faulkner, Paisley, Mccusker, Trimble – so why not Robinson?

    Personally I dont think the parades controversy should be anywhere near P&J. Th Ashdown groups that included republicans and OO came up with a suggested solution, it should have been implemented done and dusted but as usual we all drag our feet so that when crunch comes we can re open old wounds and pick at our scabs – we love it!

    irish language act haven’t heard too much about it but I’m sure it, OTRs, money for loyalist communities, amnesties for MPs expenses and all will soon be floating about in the proverbial soup waiting for the hand of history –

  • Rory Carr

    We can draw little information as to the decline of the Protestant population in the Garvaghy Road area from the percentages used by Ding Dong without knowing the numbers involved.

    The increase in the Catholic share of the population could be as a result of increased birth rates among younger existing Catholic families relative to a lower Protestant birthrate or could be as a result of an greater influx of Catholic families to the area without necessarily entailing a reduction in the number of Protestant families due to their leaving the area.

    Furthermore, without knowing the reasons why any Protestant families chose to leave the area, if indeed any did (and Ding Dong’s figures do not tell us), then we would be remiss in drawing any conclusions of our own without evidence.

  • fourwinds

    So Northern Ireland needs the 1000+ marches every year to stop Protestents moving????
    I’ve never heard that one before I must admit.
    Need a few more marches on the Shankill in that case.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    In anyother sensible society if a parade is going to cause violence – and this one is, its stopped on public safety grounds. Quite right too. Not walking down the road starts a new tradition.

    PS I would suggest that all parades are held in sporting grounds so that the greatest number of viewers can come and see the wonderful spectace of it (…) without blocking the bleedin traffic! (they could even charge admission!)

  • FitzjamesHorse

    The problem is that McKenna was the voice of the rsidents when SF was either fanning th flames or supporting residents (depending on your viewpoint).

    I have no real doubt that the residents would prefer NO MARCHES. And having got used to it over a decade now I dont think the “right” of the Orange Order to peacefully process the Queens Highway or stage triumphalist march thru nationalist area (depending on viewpoint). I dont think that genie can go back in the bottle.
    It is not 1953 or 1964…its 2010.

    Actually both sides have a dilemna. A lot of Orange leaders west of the Bann have no time for the Portadown brethren. All of a sudden west of the Bann village parades which had been a local eccentricity tolerated became controversial. A few businesses got boycotted. A lot of LOL types would like to see Portadown quietly give up.

    Likewise SF have staked a lot…everything…on the rights of residents. To suddenly accept Orange feet on the Garvaghy Road. It cant backtrack on that, not only because its clearly what they believe but also it would give ground away to McKenna.

    The over-riding image of the garvaghy years might be local residents batoned off their own streets by the RUC or a rent-a-mob of outsiders illegally impeding a legal march (again choose your viewpoint).
    But for me the iconic image is the extremely peaceful Brid Rogers having the ground cut from under her feet by the RUC having been told barefaced lies by one of the sisterhood…the saintly Mo Mowlam.

    Really that was the turning point.

  • wje

    “looking at the two wards on the Garvaghy Road correctly the figures are:
    1991 – 79.8% RC 20.2% P
    2001 – 86.3% RC 13.7% P
    Accepting that the these wards are not exclusive to the Garvaghy Road but encompass the rural hinterland around the area the Protestant community in the two wards on the Garvaghy Road has fallen by 33% from a low base.”

    “The biggest change was in the Corcrain ward – apparently this encompasses the lower Garvaghy Road here the chnage is more dramatic with the protestant community shrinking from 22.2% to 13.1% a 40% shift in the protestant population.”
    – Ding dong

    Of course this would have nothing to do with an ongoing increase in the overall size of the Catholic/nationalist community in Portadown, would it?

    In the period you refer to, there has been the major build of over 250 homes in the two new estates at Rose Cottages and the Beeches, as well as around 20 new homes at St John’s Court, all just off the Garvaghy Road and all in the Corcrain ward. Add to that,around 20 new homes in Obins Street and around 15 at Corcrain Mews (all still in the Corcrain ward) and staying in that ward, we have those new builds just across from Ballyoran Hill on the lefthand side as one approaches the roundabout from Obins Street going towards St John’s chapel.

    In Ballyoran ward which also covers the Garvaghy Road, there’s a new estate of around 80 homes at Ashgrove Manor, 20 new homes in Ballyoran Park, and at least 30 homes at Drumcree Manor (those are one’s you can now clearly see from Drumcree Hill).

    And then there are the 50/60 homes in the new estates at Selshion Manor and Ashbrook (between the Moy and Dungannon Roads).

    Now ,all these new homes together total almost 500, clearly indicate an increasing Catholic/nationalist population within the area.

    Clearly these families were not displacing Protestants or moving into homes vacated by Protestants but were being housed in new homes.

    And in spite of all these new homes, the Housing Executive currently estimates that there is still a requirement for at least 55 additional social housing new builds, such is the demand for homes within the area. That compares to a housing need of 90 for the rest of Portadown which as Ding Dong may or may not know is almost four times larger both in terms of size and population.

    On the other hand, Redmanville in Portadown was once known as “the little Vatican” because of the numbers of Catholics once living there, but there’s not too many left there now, are there? Killicomaine is another example, but throwing hand grenades into the parochial house there sent a clear message to all those Catholic families at that end of the town. Not even a trace today of the Chapel that once stood there until the 70’s.

  • Scaramoosh

    Garvaghy needs to grow up, and pull itself out of its self imposed ghetto/oppressed mentality. Perhaps they could do with reading about the Amsterdam Provos (yes, there was another lot of provos)and their technique for turning protest into an art for. Laugh at the orangemen, and see them for the fools that they are; stop letting them rule and ruin your lives.

  • iluvni

    So, what compromises did Sinn fein offer in the latest round of talks?

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    The Orange Order should incorporate some Morris Dancing as an homage to their English brethern.

    How about a gay Orange Order march. Who could find fault with such a march and I am sure the would add some diversity, colours and clothing variety.

    How about a womens or Ethnic minority Orange order parade. They have to start thinking outside the box.

    Another possibility is that Orange order parades are just too boring rather like 1970’s English First division football. I am of the belief that a lot of the reason for 1970’s football hooliganism was due to the boring fare on the field. Okay die hard fans will proclaim the football was amazing but it wasn’t for whatever reasons (probably bad pitches but I do not want to get bogged down)

    So in essence the Orange Order have to up their game. The entertainment product has to be improved. It has to become so good that new found fans (barstoolers) are demanding Orange Order Parades down their streets with the roads specially surfaced for this prize.

    Sky sports could become consultants for this “New! enterprise. Skys Orange equivalent of Andy Gray could extoll the virtues (even on the occasional off day) of this Premier league Parading.

    If Premier league football ever falls off its pedastal then Orange Parades could fill this Canyonic Vacuum.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Oops I forget obout Sexing Up.

    Lets make Orange Order Parading Sexy.

  • Banjaxed

    20. Couldn’t have put it better, FitzjamesHorse.
    Excellent piece of analysis. (Depending on point of view, Heh!)

  • VI Lurgan

    Excellent post at No21 wje.

    There is no doubt however that the tensions surrounding parades caused Protestants to move from Woodside, etc to ‘safer’ homes elsewhere in Portadown. This however freed up accommodation for catholic families outside Garvaghy to move into.

    I do however consider that the development of the area is the primary factor for change in population statistics as this has created improved housing that has been sought after by young catholic families.

    They still have to come to Lurgan though to enjoy a good night out though.

  • Kevsterino

    Does anybody know how many OO parades were allowed without restriction by the Parades Commission last year and how many were re-routed?

  • Banjaxed

    Kevsterino
    It was 42 – Douglas Adams said it was the answer to everything, including life and the universe.

  • Kevsterino

    lol, bring a towel.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Well of course ten years ago the Tourist Board was seriously suggesting that people would come to see the Twelfth as a kinda Mardi Gras. The mind boggles.
    In fairness enlightened Orangemen (ie people from somewhere other than Portadown) have tried to make Orange parades more “inclusive”…community orientated. On 12th July last year much of those Twelfth Highlight shows emphasised this. Feel Good stories… Floats….Scottish country dancing…pageants.
    All very nice.
    But Portadown has changed as has been noted above. Banned from Obins Street tunnel proved to be a thin end of the wedge. Now Garvaghy Road is a no-go area. But Catholic side of Portadown is a changed place. Its not just about the Tunnel and Churchill Estate or even Ballyoran now mostly owner occupied. Its also about new owner occupied houses (I know not the name) opposite Churchill.
    Now thats a changed demographic. It might be ok to upset working class Catholics but upwardly mobile Catholics are a different kettle of fish.

    The most upwardly mobile Belfast Catholic of them all….President McAlease was at the PSNI Training College today. Yet I recall an interview with her around the time of her Election when she said that as a child/young person she could not understand the acquiesence of her parents generation at Orange parades.
    Indeed in the 1960s, I recall a seemingly unpoliced LOCAL Orange Procession in a small “Catholic” County Tyrone town where I spent my summers…passing by without anyone really noticing.
    In the 1970s the town would be notorious as an “IRA” town.
    Its perfectly reasonable that many seasoned Orange men see objection to Orange parades as a modern thing….a spurious issue as in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s their Catholic neighbours especially children “enjoyed” the colour and the bands.

    Clifford Smyth on Hearts and Minds tonight echoed this. That the campaign against Orange Parades was hatched in the H blocks.

    I suspect the truth lies somewhere between Mary McAleeses statement and Clifford Smyths. I have a certain sympathy for both.

    However there are big stakes here. Some who are familiar with BBC thinking might wonder why coverage of the Twelfth is actually so uncritical.
    Obviosly we no longer have “Colonel” Jimmy Hughes but the uncritical commentary with asides by “Orange Historian”, Clifford Smyth seems dangerously partial.

    Of course the BBC is in a dilemna. f it could have pulled the plug on the love fest it would have been on the Twelfth where the Orangemen marched to the Ormeau ark in protest at re-routing.
    The BBC could have said its “too political” and the OO would have protested but accepted the decision. Ten years later with the OO actively involved in discussions with loyalist parties on a pact, the BBC should still back out but of course is running scared of OO.

    I suspect any Orange feet on Garvaghy Road would result in protests at long established parades in Tyrone, Fermanagh etc.
    The Orangemen there have no time for Portadown or (worse) Belfast and just dont need the hassle

  • Macanna

    v1 lurgan “They still have to come to Lurgan though to enjoy a good night out though.”
    Now your having a laugh. Where do they go, up to the park with a bottle of bucky?

  • wje

    Perhaps if some posters here on this site were prepared to spend a few weeks living with a (taigue/fenian/RC) family in Portadown, they might look at things differently. After all, the Irish News, when they printed the story in October about a protest outside a pub(whose only “crime” was serving taigues/fenians/RC’s) in the town centre in November, gave the PSNI 10 days to do something about it. As usual in Portadown the police did sweet f*** a** to stop it.

  • wje

    I suspect any Orange feet on Garvaghy Road would result in protests at long established parades in Tyrone, Fermanagh etc.
    The Orangemen there have no time for Portadown or (worse) Belfast and just dont need the hassle

    Posted by FitzjamesHorse on Jan 29, 2010 @ 12:45 AM

    It didn’t stop the various county and local lodges from those areas turning up Drumcree protests in the 90’s, did it?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    wje.
    Thats exactly my point. They would rather not have done it. Out west or in South Down whatever countless small Orange Order church parades take place or just a little walk to the bus on the Twelfth morning.
    All very harmless, a bit eccentric but no real problem…..exactly the way it should be.
    They were embarrassed at turning up at Drumcree along with the knuckle draggers from Belfast and the kick the Pope bands. Not their type of people at all.
    As I recall the business of at least one leading Orange man was boycotted by Catholic parents (he was the supplier of uniforms to a local school).

    Now we can say that the boycott escalated things. Or we can say that in supporting his brethrens “right” to walk past Catholic homes, invalidated his right to make money from HIS Catholic neighbours.
    (Choose your viewpoint).
    But this was part of the Garbaghy fun.
    Watch them on TV showing up at Drumcree from all parts of the North and realise…..”I work with that flute player”, “I buy my Guardian every morning from that man in the bowler hat”, “The guy with the Friends of Drumcree badge dlivers my heating oil”.
    And they of course have every right to do so.
    But shining a light on their own sectarianism or their support for it is not a good way to do business.
    Likewise it is counter productive for these small harmless parades.
    Really Drumcree is a hassle the residents of Garvaghy Road would rather not have. While most are not really the type to sit on the road, it would be a mistake to dismiss them as pawns of Brendan McKenna.
    And it is a hassle for ordinary decent Orange folk.

  • An Lorgain

    The OO are holding the main Armagh 12th July demonstration in Lurgan this year, which will coincide with their celebration at the founding of Lurgan some 400 years ago.
    Surely they realise that [i](An Lorgain, Lorgain Chlann Bhreasail (long ridge of Clanbrassil), Lorgain Bhaile Mhic Cana (long ridge of McCann’s townland) and Lurgivallivacket (long hill of McCann’s place)[/i] was around before the plantation. Do they usually ignore a towns history to suit themselves?