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28 October 1999 Edition

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Drumcree Orangemen to mark 500 days of siege

THE ORANGE ORDER has announced plans to hold a massive demonstration at Drumcree to mark the 500th day of their siege of the Garvaghy Road in mid-November.

David Jones, spokesperson for the Portadown Orange Lodge, has indicated that he expects more than ten thousand Orangemen to attend the rally. Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition spokesperson Breandán Mac Cionnaith was scathing in his reaction to news of the rally. He said that the protest called into question the honesty of the Orange Order as it engages in talks purportedly aimed at resolving the dispute.

Meanwhile, sources within the Orange Order are indicating that anger is growing among rank and file Orangemen, who believe that the Portadown leadership is no match for the negotiating skills of the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition.

The sources say that members of the Portadown Orange District believe that they are ``no nearer to completing the parade than they were in July 1998'' and that Orangemen believe that their leadership's participation in the talks is pointless.
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