No review of Orange parade ban

The Parkmount Arch in Portadown
The Parkmount Arch in Portadown

There will be no review of a decision to ban an Orange Order parade from “the lower stretch of the Garvaghy Road” in Portadown, the Parades Commission has said.

Tomorrow night’s parade route – including the dedication of an arch at Victoria Terrace – was initially agreed by the commission. However, the decision was revised and the local lodge will now be required to turn away from the contentious stretch of road leaving the members unable to access the Parkmount Arch.

The arch committee had applied for a parade of 200 people and two bands to carry out the dedication – in memory of lodge member Ivan Forbes who died in January.

Last night a spokesman for the commission said there would be no further review as the request “does not contain new information or representations”.

A commission spokesman said: “Where the commission receives a review request and determines that it does not contain new information or representations, the standard letter rejecting the review application states the commission’s willingness to meet the person making the review request to discuss the issues or to provide clarification.”

Last night DUP MP David Simpson said there had been a “detailed and frank” meeting with the commission “where we were able to outline the truth and to rectify areas where the Parades Commission appears to have been told lies by the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition”.

Mr Simpson said they asked the commission how Parkmount Lodge could dedicate an arch while still complying with the latest determination.

“We asked one question and they could not answer that,” he said.

“They couldn’t answer the question of how the Orangemen would get down to do a dedication.”

An Orange source in Portadown said: “All we want to do is walk 100 yards to dedicate the arch and turn back on ourselves.”