HC Deb 15 July 1986 vol 101 c504W
Mr. Parry

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary about incidents of disorder in Portadown on the weekend of 5 and 6 July; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott

The Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary kept my right hon. Friend fully informed of events in Portadown during the weekend of 5 and 6 July. The organisers of the Orange Lodge church parade in Portadown were served by the police with an Order under Article 4(1) of the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 imposing a number of conditions. One of those conditions was that the march should remain local in character. When the police sought to prevent that condition being broken at the entrance to Obins street there was an altercation in which stones and other missiles including one petrol bomb were thrown at the police.

There was some further public disorder during the parade caused by hooligan elements from both sides of the community. The parade ended shortly before 3 pm and order was restored. Twenty seven members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and three civilians were injured, one plastic baton round was fired by the police and 4 people were arrested. So far three people have been charged with disorderly behaviour and a number of other persons have been identified with a view to possible prosecutions.

This was a tragic waste of an opportunity for those who wish to march along so-called traditional routes in Portadown to demonstrate their willingness to co-operate with the police in the interests of public order and good relations in the community there.