THE annual Drumcree parade passed off peacefully on Sunday.
Orange Lodge members from Portadown marched from the Church of Ireland on Drumcree Hill to the police cordon that prevents them from returning to the town via the Garvaghy Road.
About 120 Orangemen gathered for the procession in the pouring rain. Addressing the small crowd, Portadown District Master Darryl Hewitt said the protest would continue every Sunday until “our rights have been restored”.
He continued, “Our resolve has not diminished over the weeks and months. No one should be in any doubt – Portadown District are in this for the long haul.”
Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition spokesman Breandán Mac Cionnaith said although things “looked quiet”, it was still a tense time of year.
“If you had been speaking to me this time last year, I would have said things were calm, but within days we had violence erupt in this town. These tensions are never far from the surface,” he said.
Full coverage of Drumcree in this week’s Portadown Times.