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The Twelfth: Newtownards

By Nevin Farrell

Strangford MP Jim Shannon, himself an Orangeman, was keen to promote the Ulster-Scots dialect during Saturday's Twelfth of July demonstration in Newtownards.

As large swathes of the Ards peninsula prides itself in embracing the Ulster-Scots dialect, Jim Shannon donned his Orange sash and was proudly bidding a 'Fair fae ye' – or welcome – to visitors from near and far.

A total of 50 North Down lodges and bands stepped out under the landmark Scrabo Tower which was shrouded in cloud for much of the day.

Joining Newtownards brethren were Order members from Holywood, Upper Ards and Bangor districts, as well as visiting participants from England, Scotland and Wales.

Thousands of spectators lined the streets for the parade which began at John Street, proceeding through the town centre to the demonstration field at Dairy Hall playing fields.

Co Down Grand Master Victor Harrison was joined for platform proceedings by the Grand Chaplain the Rev Ron Johnstone and Mr Shannon.

Following the religious service and entertainment provided at the field, marchers paraded back through the Co Down town.

Along the route, people like Kenzie and Kyla Richard and Bethany McMillan entered into the patriotic spirit for the day by decking themselves out in Union flags.

North Down First Flute Band members Craig Dickson, Jimmy Lee and Jamie Emery, were also in good form, giving the thumbs-up for the cameras.

Belfast Telegraph


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