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For God and Ulster

The Glorious Twelfth in Portadown

“IN 1995 THE ORANGE ORDER beat the police and got down the Garvaghy Road,” said Darryl Hewitt, the District Master of the Portadown Orange Order. “ In 1996 we beat the British Army and they let us down the road. In ’97 Mo Mowlam put us down the road. Portadown District thought it was invincible.” It was the formation of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission in 1998 that finally put the kybosh on the annual Orange march from Drumcree parish church, down the nationalist Garvaghy Road, to the town of Portadown, County Armagh.

Flutes and Lambeg drums on the Garvaghy Road, reminding the street’s Catholic residents – as they saw it – of their defeated and second-class status in Northern Ireland, had always been a mark of the Orange Order’s perceived invincibility. It was a yearly display of loyalist triumphalism – in the midst of a conflict that had become Britain’s longest military engagement – that became a standoff between two communities which came perilously close to becoming another flashpoint in the violence of the Troubles.

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About iScot Magazine

iScot August 2017 Edition The one with Three Powerful Politicians who happen to be women and David Mundell. 116 jam packed pages of the best craic in Scotland from the only truly independent pro Scottish magazine, and if you chose not to buy this we're coming round to your house with big Sylvester and the lads - you've been warned!