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The Twelfth of July ‘should be a holiday in the Republic to embrace Orange tradition'

The Twelfth of July should be added to St Patrick's Day as a national holiday, a former deputy premier in the Republic has told the MacGill Summer School.

Former Progressive Democrats' leader Michael McDowell told delegates in Glenties, Co Donegal, yesterday that more work had to be done south of the border to embrace the Orange tradition.

He suggested that, with a good start having been made in turning the site of the Battle of the Boyne at Oldbridge, Co Meath, into a national monument, it might be time to make the Twelfth a national holiday right across the country.

“I think if we are genuine republicans, if the Orange panel on the flag means anything, we have to consider building an inclusive society,” he said.

“If Irish government ministers can go all the way around the world to St Patrick's Day parades, maybe the time has come for |them to acknowledge that north of the border one community has a big national festival, and maybe an Irish government minister could make the physical journey and the mental journey there,” he added.

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