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19 June 2003 Edition

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Drumcree Orangemen in media ploy

Media reports just three weeks before this year's controversial Drumcree parade have been designed and timed to create some sort of positive PR spin for the Orange Order, according to Garvaghy residents' spokesperson Breandán MacCionnaith.

He was refuting claims in the Belfast Newsletter that "nationalists in Portadown had backed out of secret talks with the [Orange] Order".

"The reality is that there has been no process in relation to the Drumcree issue since the closure of the process chaired by Brian Currin at the end of 2001," said MacCionnaith.

"If there has been any form of discussions in recent times, as media reports suggest, they have clearly been discussions from which the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition has been deliberately excluded."

Setting the record straight, Breandán MacCionnaith pointed out that just days before the Newsletter's article appeared, the Parades Commission, commenting on the Drumcree parade, had stated publicly that it was "unaware of any meaningful engagement with residents about this parade".
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