The British Army and the RUC line the Garvaghy Road as the Orange Order parade from Drumcree.

RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan spoke to reporters this morning about the decision he had to make to permit this Orange Order parade to go ahead. He said his choice was the lesser of two evils,

How much life is liable to be lost, and that loss of life was liable to be in the Catholic community.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam said that the nationalist community's situation had been taken into account, it was with regret that another option could not be found at this time,

It has been dictated by circumstances. I would have preferred it otherwise.

Parishioners on the Garvaghy Road who were prevented from attending their own church this morning gathered for an open air Mass celebrated by Father Sean Larkin who preached a message of Christian charity,

Love your enemies. Love those who hate you and persecute you, it’s the way of love. It’s not the way of violence.

On the other side of Portadown there was a festive atmosphere as the Orange Parade commenced. UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) leader David Trimble was also present, but did not march today.

The atmosphere grew more sombre as the parade approached Drumcree for the traditional service. An hour later the Portadown brethren marched silently past the flashpoint on the Garvaghy Road which had the appearance of,

A virtual armed camp, with residents kept well back.

The parade went on without incident, finishing at the loyalist end of the Garvaghy Road.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 July 1997. The reporter is David Davin Power.