Issue 4-2022 small

6 August 1998 Edition

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Bricks, bottles and bootboys

Last week the Portadown Orange Order threatened to increase its intimidation of the residents of the Garvaghy estate. They have applied for permission to march down the Garvaghy Road on August 9, 16 and 23.

An application to march through the nationalist area on Sunday 2 August was refused by the Parades Commission.

The Garvaghy Road residents group are due to meet the Commission on Thursday 6 August to discuss these marches as well as one threatened by Ian Paisley along the bottom of the road on Saturday 15 August.

The illegal nightly gathering of loyalists near the nationalist enclave resulted in a ten year old boy being injured on Thursday 30 July when a loyalist mob of over three hundred hurled bricks and bottles at the estate. The mob had been allowed to gather supposedly to remove an Orange arch which they had erected at the beginning of July on Craigwell Avenue.

The arch was taken down in thirty minutes but the RUC allowed the mob to remain in the area for several hours intimidating a number of nationalist residents. One woman, who did not wish to be named, said she recognised one of the loyalists engaged in the harassment and reported him to the RUC, but they did nothing.

SF Assembly member, Dara O'Hagan, said on Friday 31 July, ''The RUC must be made to take preventative action to ensure that residents do not have to endure any more nights like last night. Loyalists should be prevented from congregating at the entrance to the Garvaghy Road.''

On Saturday LVF members and other masked men were seen among the loyalist mob.

At the Craigavon council meeting on Monday night loyalists packed the public gallery and heckled Garvaghy Road councillors, Breandan MacCionnaith and Joe Duffy every time they tried to speak.

Unionist councillor, Fred Crowe, proposed that the council's development committee should deal with the parades issue and related topics but insisted that he would not talk to `unrepentant terrorists'. This, despite the fact that MacCionnaith is on this committee which Crowe chairs.


Garvaghy residents group spokesperson, Breandan MacCionnaith, has received numerous death threats in recent weeks and last week a leaflet was distributed in Portadown showing a photograph of him below the headline `The Man Without a Future'.

The text of the leaflet is drenched in fundamentalist rhetoric claiming that MacCionnaith and the residents' group are part of a conspiracy, founded by a mythical eighteenth century Hungarian Jesuit, to ``destroy the religious rights of Protestants.'' MacCionnaith described the leaflet as pure fantasy and said it was reminiscent of the religious ideology which surrounded the former LVF leader Billy Wright.


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