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Orange Order attempt to reignite Drumcree violence

18 June, 2010 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin MLA for Upper Bann John O’Dowd has accused the Orange Order of ‘deliberately raising tensions’ after they failed to file for the outward part of the Drumcree parade, indicating that they would instead organise an illegal march.

Mr O’Dowd said:

“In what has been a good week for the peace process with the publication of Saville and the visit of the Protestant church leaders to the Bogside we see the rejectionists within the Orange Order stepping forward to make their contribution. Instead of trying to build relationships and ease tensions in a very deliberate move the Orange Order have decided to try and reignite the Drumcree dispute.

“Most people in Portadown outside of the Orange Order see the situation at Drumcree as resolved. Over the past ten years we have seen none of the violence and the people of Portadown have been able to get on with their lives. Not satisfied with this the Orange Order have now sought to turn the previously non contentious outward route into a problem for the PSNI and the community in Portadown.

“This is highly irresponsible and it is time people examined who or what is motivating the Orange Order. In the course of the past 15 years they have made no contribution to the peace process. They insist on holding the rest of society to ransom summer after summer over the issue of a handful of their hundreds of parades while at the same time keeping up the pretence that they are a non political cultural organisation.

“It is time that the Orange Order woke up to itself and realised that society here has changed and changed forever. They cannot march where and when they want. They cannot dictate the political pace anymore. They cannot turn the clock back.” ENDS

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