THE weekly protest at Drumcree on Sunday had a dual purpose - the usual dispute over the direct route back into Portadown and a protest against the removal of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall.
No flags are carried in the usual Sunday protests, the only exception being ‘Drumcree Sunday’ itself at the beginning of July when the Ex-Servicemen’s Lodge carries its Union Flag Standard and the Orange Standard.
But on Sunday the Union Flag was carried down Drumcree Hill for the usual protest to take place, when a sole PSNI officer stood in the way and the parade stopped at Drumcree Bridge.
Portadown Orange secretary David Jones made the double protest at the Bridge, stating that “once again our civil rights are denied, and insult is added to injury by the removal of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall.”
District Master Darryl Hewitt said, “We fully support non-violent protest against the removal of the flag and hope that some resolution can be found. This is the latest move by Sinn Fein to deny the unionist population of our civil rights, as is their denial of the rights of Orangemen at Drumcree. They are determined to remove every vestige of Britishness from Northern Ireland.”