David Rowlands: Military Artist
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Drumcree, The Garvaghy Road   Drumcree, The Garvaghy Road

In the 1990s a huge security operation was conducted each July during the yearly parade by the Orange Order in the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland. Trouble flared between nationalists and loyalists during the return march along the Garvaghy Road from Drumcree Church.

On Sunday 6 July 1997, 1500 soldiers and police moved into the nationalist area and sealed-off all the roads. This led to clashes with around 300 protestors. A line of soldiers and armoured personnel carriers kept the factions apart, but after the parade had marched along Garvaghy Road at noon, a large-scale riot developed. About 40 plastic bullets were fired at rioters, and about 18 people were taken to hospital.

In nearby Lurgan, nationalist protestors stopped a train and set it alight, while fierce riots erupted in several nationalist areas around Northern Ireland. Several RUC and Army patrols came under fire, especially in North and West Belfast. The widespread violence lasted until 10 July, when the Orange Order decided unilaterally to re-route six parades.



Medium: Oil on Canvas

Printed image size(s): B2 only (58 x 38 cm)

Owner: 1st Battalion (The Cheshires) The Mercian Regiment

Price(s): 65