Call for unionist unity ahead of 320th Twelfth Bandsmen enjoy a bit of banter ahead of this year’s Twelfth
Seventy bands are expected to take part in this year’s Twelfth parade in Belfast.
The parade, which marks the 320th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, will leave at 10am on Monday from Belfast Orange Hall at Carlisle Circus.
The Miller Memorial Flute band will lead the parade as it makes its way along Clifton Street, Donegall Street, Royal Avenue, Castle Junction, Donegall Place to City Hall.
After the wreath laying ceremony the parade will proceed via Donegall Square West, Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftsbury Square, Bradbury Place, Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue and Malone Road to Barnetts Demesne.
A service of thanksgiving, starting at 2.30pm, will be conducted by Rev Dr Victor Ryan, Imperial and Grand Chaplain.
The address and resolution on faith will be given by Rev Mervyn Gibson, Deputy Grand Chaplain.
The resolutions on loyalty and state will be presented by Thomas Haire, County Grand Master, and the guest speaker will be Councillor William Humphrey. The return parade will begin at 4.15pm.
East Belfast MLA Lord Wallace Browne has made an appeal for a united front from unionists after the Twelfth. “If unionism continues to stand politically divided, we will continue down a path that will lead to destruction.
“The time is long overdue that unionists put aside party differences and stood united to face our common challenges,” he |continued.
Meanwhile, east Belfast’s ‘mini-Twelfth’, the annual Somme Memorial Parade on July 1, drew the usual large crowd of spectators.
Robin Newton MLA said: “The annual Somme parade, a special event for the Orange Order's Ballymacarrett District No 6, remembers the brave men of the 36th Ulster Division who fought and died for our freedoms.
“It is also an opportunity for the people of east Belfast to remember that many of those who gave their life at the Somme were members of the Orange Order from throughout Northern Ireland.
“The parade was well organised, peaceful and dignified. The many thousands of supporters who lined the streets obviously enjoyed this very special parade.
“It is appropriate to acknowledge the hard work of Ballymacarrett District No 6, the police and interface groups that ensure the parade passes off peacefully,” he said.