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Unionist outrage over Garvaghy march U-turn

Orangemen protest at Drumcree church last July, after a parade was barred from proceeding down the Garvaghy Road

Orangemen protest at Drumcree church last July, after a parade was barred from proceeding down the Garvaghy Road

The DUP has accused the Parades Commission of performing an “outrageous U-turn” after it reversed a decision that would have allowed a parade to walk a short distance along the traditionally unionist end of the Garvaghy Road.

The Parkmount Arch Committee in Portadown had applied to have the parade to their own arch on Saturday.

A number of junior Orange parades traditionally walk along the same section of the road on an annual basis.

Last week the commission approved the parade.

However, last night it said that it had received “fresh information” which had caused it to change its mind.

The parade starts in a car park next to an underpass and is now forbidden from turning right up the Garvaghy Road, having to turn left towards the town centre instead.

Upper Bann DUP MP David Simpson said: “Once again this Parades Commission has been characterised by its weakness. Having initially granted permission for this parade they have now conducted an outrageous U-turn and caved in at the first sign of opposition by the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition (GRRC).”

But the residents’ group said last night that the commission’s initial decision had been “flawed both procedurally and legally”.

The Parkmount Arch Committee in Portadown had applied to have the parade to their own arch on Saturday.

A number of junior Orange parades traditionally walk along the same section of the road on an annual basis.

Last week the commission approved the parade.

However, last night it said that it had received “fresh information” which had caused it to change its mind.

The parade starts in a car park next to an underpass and is now forbidden from turning right up the Garvaghy Road, having to turn left towards the town centre instead.

Upper Bann DUP MP David Simpson said: “Once again this Parades Commission has been characterised by its weakness. Having initially granted permission for this parade they have now conducted an outrageous U-turn and caved in at the first sign of opposition by the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition (GRRC).”

But the residents’ group said last night that the commission’s initial decision had been “flawed both procedurally and legally”.

 

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