The leaders of the Orange Order “need to reflect on the lessons at Drumcree”, one of the staunch opponents of that parade has said.
Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition spokesman, Breandan Mac Cionnaith, said: “It is clear from the low attendance of less than three hundred at today’s parade that the majority of members of Portadown LOL District are no longer interested in the Drumcree Issue or in contentious marches along either Obins Street or Garvaghy Road.
“Today’s low attendance equates of less than one quarter of the entire membership of Portadown LOL District.
“This is a far cry from the late 1990’s when over twenty thousand Orangemen and unionists assembled at Drumcree at the behest of the Order and various unionist leaders.”
In a statement issued this morning, Mr Mac Cionnaith added: “As concern mounts within nationalist communities about the joint plans and intentions of unionism/Orangeism in the lead-up to July 12th, today’s leaders of unionism and Orangemen need to reflect very seriously upon the events which occurred in Portadown and elsewhere as a result of their use of the Drumcree march as a unionist rallying point.”
An Orange spokesman said: “Rather than hiding behind written statements, perhaps Mr McKenna would be better served to explain why he and the GRRC continue to refuse the opportunity of direct talks with Portadown District.”