Portadown parade restriction remains

Published Thursday, 26 June 2014
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The Parades Commission decision to restrict a parade in the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown, scheduled to take place this Saturday, will remain in place.

Nationalist residents had hit out after permission was originally granted for a parade past Victoria Terrace as part of the dedication of a loyalist arch in the Co Armagh town.

They said the area is, and has always been, regarded as part of the Garvaghy Road which has been at the centre of a parading dispute for the past two decades.

Despite a low-key annual march, the Orange Order has been banned from marching along Garvaghy Road since 1998.

Two bands and around 200 people were expected to take part in the event on Saturday, organised by the Parkmount Arch committee.

On Wednesday, following its own request for new information and after reviewing the original determination, the watchdog reversed its decision to allow the parade.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Parades Commission said:"Having considered this new information, the Commission has issued a revised determination which includes a number of restrictions, including a restriction on route, prohibiting the procession from the lower stretch of the Garvaghy Road, past Victoria Terrace.

"These restrictions recognise the unresolved nature of parading in this area and the Commission considers that the restrictions are just and proportionate.

"The Commission would like to reiterate that this parade does not involve that stretch of the Garvaghy Road which has been subject to restriction since 1998."

The DUP MP David Simpson met with the Commission on Thursday, and said the organisation would now conduct a review of its review.

He said: "The meeting was very forthright and we are getting a review which was our aim and objective of the meeting.

"We have proven to the commission that some of the evidence given to counteract this was lies and they are willing to look at this again."

Mr Simpson said there was every possibility that the commission would reverse its reversal.

"They've done a U-turn in the first place, so why would they not?" he added.

However, on Thursday night, the Parades Commission issued a statement to say that the decision made to restrict the parade remains in place.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Commission 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.

"The decision made by the Commission on 25 June 2014 remains in place."

© UTV News
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11 Comments
DM in Belfast wrote (172 days ago):
Michael in Templepatrick.... ur actually one of the biggest bigots on this forum. your comments are always one sided. maybe utv will actually publish this for once
Michael Gibney in Los Angeles. wrote (173 days ago):
No wonder 25,000+ of its young people leave that dismal backward country per year. Mentality of its society and politicians and journalists is a total joke. Forever stuck in the stone age.
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (174 days ago):
Good news for the sake of all concerned, apart from bigots that is.
Larry in Belfast wrote (174 days ago):
It's like the 'Grand old Duke of York' when they were up they were up and when the were down they were down, but when they were only half way up, they were neither up nor down!!! It's time to dump the commission and get the people and Orange talking to each other properly. Personally I would say 'ban all parades', and I mean all.
Mike in East Belfast wrote (174 days ago):
So does violence pay in the long run?? Or what kind of democratic game are we involved in??
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