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No other decision could have been made on Drumcree parade

5 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd has said that the Parades Commission could have come to no other decision than to re-route this weekends Drumcree Orange march away from the Garvaghy Road.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"The Drumcree Orange parade is little more than a sectarian coat trailing exercise through the Catholic community in Portadown. It is up to the Orange Order to explain the rational behind wanting to parade through an area where they are clearly not welcome. Already in preparation for the parade all of the main thoroughfares and business areas have been bedecked in sectarian bunting thereby effectively making the town centre a no go area for Catholics.

"The Parades Commission could not have come to any other decision than to re-route the parade away from Garvaghy Road. No doubt we will now hear the usual threats and sabre rattling from a coalition of the Orange Order, unionist politicians and the unionist paramilitaries demanding that this parade is forced down Garvaghy Road.

" The Parades Commission have an obligation to stand up to these threats and make it very clear to the Orange Order and their allies that the only way to resolve the issue of contentious parades is through a process of real and meaningful dialogue with local residents." ENDS

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