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24 September 1998 Edition

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Loyalists plan `cultural' event

by Sean O'Tuama

Portadown town centre will be the scene on Saturday 26 September for a day of events to celebrate loyalist culture.

The event had originally been planned for the public park adjacent to the Garvaghy estate in the town but the organisers failed to convince the council that the event would not lead to serious trouble.

The Portadown area has been relatively quiet over the last week since the business community pressurised the RUC to increase their presence in the town centre and prevent loyalist mobs from wreaking further havoc.

Last Saturday a crowd of thirty to forty loyalists gathered in High Street Mall wearing orange ribbons to sign a petition supporting the Orange Order's siege of the Garvaghy estate. The stunt passed off without incident.

The proposed march by the Orange Order down the Garvaghy Road on Sunday also passed off peacefully after the RUC enforced the Parades Commission's decision to ban the parade. The Order delivered a letter of protest at the decision at the RUC line at the top of the road before dispersing.

Speaking after the violence in the town earlier this month Gerry Adams said that the nationalist residents there ``are at the physical raw edge of sectarianism.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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