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3 December 1998 Edition

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RUC complicit in loyalist siege of Garvaghy Road

The inactivity of the RUC as hundreds of loyalists gathered at the junction of Dungannon Road and Drumcree Road bordering the Garvaghy Road in Portadown last Thursday night has been condemned by local representatives.

According to Breandan MacCionnaith of the Garvaghy Road Residents Association, ``a young local man driving his girlfriend home was attacked in his car by up to 80 or 90 loyalists. This is very worrying, as the loyalist threat increases the RUC are failing to up their presence and this type of incident will increase in frequency.''

During the `Orange' support demonstration on Saturday, described by MacCionnaith as ``relatively peaceful'', loyalists hurled abuse at residents at the junction with Craigwell Avenue. Loyalists were also observed using at least four video cameras to take footage of nationalist residents and the dozen or so protesters.

As loyalists passed St John's chapel they turned on nationalist residents and attempted to gain access to the graveyard. When local people remonstrated with the RUC about their inactivity the RUC turned on them. Riot squads were brought to face the peaceful locals, along with three dog handlers and dogs.

As the Orange Order continues to legitimise its siege of the Garvaghy Road community, traders within Portadown are also expressing fear that the Grand Lodge of Ireland protest planned for 19 December will destroy their busiest shopping day of the year.

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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