Lodges scrap banner ceremony after Parades Commission ban march

Water Street, Portadown.
For use, print only, 01-05-16 innl edition
Water Street, Portadown. For use, print only, 01-05-16 innl edition

Orange lodges which have been controversially banned from parading down a derelict street in Portadown has postponed the banner unfurling ceremony scheduled for Saturday night.

The Parades Commission confirmed last week that Parkmount Junior LOL 150 and King William’s Defenders LOL 127 would not be permitted to march in Water Street.

Now in a statement issued this afternoon, the lodges said the planned ceremony would now not take this place this weekend.

It said: “Parkmount Junior LOL 150 and King William’s Defenders LOL 127 have decided to postpone our banner dedication originally scheduled for this Saturday evening, 7 May 2016, in light of the Parades Commission decision to ban our parade from Water Street, Portadown.

“We will, however, dedicate our banners at an appropriate place and time of our choosing. We will not be dictated to by an unelected quango.

“We apologise to all concerned for the late notice, which was beyond our control.”

David Jones, Ukip councillor for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said on Sunday: “This is a junior Orange parade to do with the unfurling of one of their banners.

“This is a one-off parade by a junior lodge with young lads aged from seven-years to about 14 years.”

Mr Jones, who is secretary of the Portadown No 1 Orange District, added: “The determination is referring an awful lot to what Portadown District LOL No1 are doing or not doing, but that is a different matter.

“Water Street is actually a derelict street and it is quite ridiculous there is not going to be a parade there for fear it is going to concern anybody.

“A banner is only ever unfurled by any lodge maybe once every 20 or 30 years so it is something that happens very, very occasionally.”