A peaceful 1999 in Portadown is dependent on the main participants in the Drumcree dispute demonstrating a real desire to make progress. Are the parties more interested in making a settlement or in humiliating the opposition? It is disappointing that both parties appear to be reluctant to enter real dialogue. Any further delay will reduce the chance of a settlement this year.
History will be a harsh judge of any of the main players who fail to show some imagination and positive action.
As a Christian organsiation the Orange District will know that the Beatitudes praise peacemakers and state that “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth”.
As a practical community group the Garvaghy Residents must know that the best prospect for improving the life and economy of their community rests in reaching an accommodation with the Orange District. When this is achieved Portadown can embark on the slow and difficult road to improved community relations.
In the mean time some space free from demonstrations and visits from outside politicians making apocalyptic speeches would be helpful.