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Orangemen  march to Stormont estate  during  Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

Orangemen march to Stormont estate during Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

Orangemen  march to Stormont estate  during  Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

Orangemen march to Stormont estate during Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

Orangemen  march to Stormont estate  during  Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

Orangemen march to Stormont estate during Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

The 100th year anniversary march to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant begins its route from Carlise Circus in Belfast to Stormont

The 100th year anniversary march to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant begins its route from Carlise Circus in Belfast to Stormont

Two female loyalists shout their approval as the 100th year anniversary march to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant begins its route from Carlise Circus in Belfast to Stormont

Two female loyalists shout their approval as the 100th year anniversary march to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant begins its route from Carlise Circus in Belfast to Stormont

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson pictured at City Hall

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson pictured at City Hall

The 100th year anniversary march to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant begins its route from Carlise Circus in Belfast to Stormont

The 100th year anniversary march to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant begins its route from Carlise Circus in Belfast to Stormont

The Ulster Covenant centenary parade makes its way up the Newtownards Road in east Belfast

The Ulster Covenant centenary parade makes its way up the Newtownards Road in east Belfast

A mock signing of the Ulster Covenant took place before the Commemorations at City Hall

A mock signing of the Ulster Covenant took place before the Commemorations at City Hall

Ulster Covenant centenary parade  in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade  in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade passes St Patrick's Church in Belfast

Ulster Covenant centenary parade passes St Patrick's Church in Belfast

Protesters pictured at Carrick Hill in north Belfast as the Ulster Covenant  parade goes past

Protesters pictured at Carrick Hill in north Belfast as the Ulster Covenant parade goes past

An Orange man pictured at the back of Carlisle  Circus Orange Hall in north Belfast before the parade begins

An Orange man pictured at the back of Carlisle Circus Orange Hall in north Belfast before the parade begins

The parade makes its way past Belfast City Hall

The parade makes its way past Belfast City Hall

Members of the City Hall guard watch the parade

Members of the City Hall guard watch the parade

Members of the City Hall guard watch as the parade makes its way past

Members of the City Hall guard watch as the parade makes its way past

Thousands took part in commemorations in Belfast to mark 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Thousands took part in commemorations in Belfast to mark 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

A mock signing took place before the commemorations at City Hall

A mock signing took place before the commemorations at City Hall

Orange Order members march passed St Patrick's Church in Belfast, during a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Orange Order members march passed St Patrick's Church in Belfast, during a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Paul Faith

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Marching bands in Belfast celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orange Order members march passed St Patrick's Church in Belfast, during a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Orange Order members march passed St Patrick's Church in Belfast, during a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Paul Faith

Women dressed in the Union flag colours near Orange Hall in Clifton Street, Belfast, ahead of the start of a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Women dressed in the Union flag colours near Orange Hall in Clifton Street, Belfast, ahead of the start of a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Paul Faith

Orange Order members march passed St Patrick's Church in Belfast, during a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Orange Order members march passed St Patrick's Church in Belfast, during a massive loyal order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the pro-Union Ulster Covenant

Paul Faith

Traditional dress parade in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patrick's church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patrick's church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patrick's church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patrick's church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patrick's church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patrick's church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patricks church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patricks church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patricks church where a small protest was held

The Ulster Covenant parade makes its way from Carlisle Circus down Clifton Street and past St Patricks church where a small protest was held

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Sandy Row in south Belfast to marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Sandy Row in south Belfast to marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade through Sandy Row in south Belfast to  mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Traditional dress parade through Sandy Row in south Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson and Rev Quirey at the War memorial in Sandy Row on Saturday morning

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson and Rev Quirey at the War memorial in Sandy Row on Saturday morning

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

Orangemen and bandsmen in traditional dress parade through Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant

A loyalist band marches past St Patrick's Church. July 2012

A loyalist band marches past St Patrick's Church. July 2012

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The Ulster Covenant, first page signatures.

The Ulster Covenant, first page signatures.

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ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

Belfast Telegraph

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Balmoral Showgrounds.  27/9/1962

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Balmoral Showgrounds. 27/9/1962

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

Belfast Telegraph

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Bangor - date unknown

Bangor - date unknown

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ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.The Women of Ulster. A detachment of nurses, which includes many of the leading Ulster ladies of that period, all specially trained.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.The Women of Ulster. A detachment of nurses, which includes many of the leading Ulster ladies of that period, all specially trained.

Belfast Telegraph

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.Inspection of the UVF nurses.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.Inspection of the UVF nurses.

Belfast Telegraph

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.U.V.F. Dungannon 4th Battallion, Tyrone Regiment.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.U.V.F. Dungannon 4th Battallion, Tyrone Regiment.

Belfast Telegraph

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

Belfast Telegraph

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

Belfast Telegraph

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Malone Park.  29/9/1962

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Malone Park. 29/9/1962

Belfast Telegraph: Page Ones/SIGNING OF THE Ulster Covenant. ULSTER SCENES. 30/9/1912

Belfast Telegraph: Page Ones/SIGNING OF THE Ulster Covenant. ULSTER SCENES. 30/9/1912

BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Press Eye - Belfast Northern Ireland - Thursday 21st  June 2012 - Ulster Covenant ExhibitionDaily Sketch front page 1912Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast Northern Ireland - Thursday 21st June 2012 - Ulster Covenant ExhibitionDaily Sketch front page 1912Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast Northern Ireland - Thursday 21st  June 2012 - Ulster Covenant ExhibitionFawney Heroes BannerPicture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast Northern Ireland - Thursday 21st June 2012 - Ulster Covenant ExhibitionFawney Heroes BannerPicture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Balmoral Showgrounds.  29/9/1962

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Balmoral Showgrounds. 29/9/1962

The Ulster Covenant Jubilee Commemoration Committee meet in Unionist Headquarters, Belfast.  Presiding was Mr John Bryans, chairman and Grand Master of the Belfast County Grand Orange Lodge.  Beside him are Mr H Radcliffe (right) and Mr RJ McMullan, general secretary.  8/9/1962

The Ulster Covenant Jubilee Commemoration Committee meet in Unionist Headquarters, Belfast. Presiding was Mr John Bryans, chairman and Grand Master of the Belfast County Grand Orange Lodge. Beside him are Mr H Radcliffe (right) and Mr RJ McMullan, general secretary. 8/9/1962

A section of the crowd at Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Balmoral Showgrounds. 2/10/1962

A section of the crowd at Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations at Balmoral Showgrounds. 2/10/1962

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations on Royal Avenue, Belfast.  29/9/1962

Covenant Day Jubilee celebrations on Royal Avenue, Belfast. 29/9/1962

Sir Edward Carson puts the first signature on the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall in 1912

Sir Edward Carson puts the first signature on the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall in 1912

Covenant day in Belfast 28/09/1912

Covenant day in Belfast 28/09/1912

convenant day northern ireland 28/09/1912

convenant day northern ireland 28/09/1912

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.

Belfast Telegraph

Sir Edward Carson puts the first signature on the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall.  28/9/1912

Sir Edward Carson puts the first signature on the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall. 28/9/1912

Sir Edward Carson signing the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall.  28/9/1912

Sir Edward Carson signing the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall. 28/9/1912

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.The Ulster Volunteer force being addressed by Edward Carson

ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE: U.V.F. 1913.The Ulster Volunteer force being addressed by Edward Carson

Belfast Telegraph

Ulster’s working landscape has changed massively a century on from the days of the Ulster Covenant signed by Edward Carson

Ulster’s working landscape has changed massively a century on from the days of the Ulster Covenant signed by Edward Carson

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Orangemen march to Stormont estate during Saturday's Ulster Covenant centenary parade

It was one of the largest loyalist parades since the foundation of Northern Ireland, with tens of thousands of people turning out to mark the centenary of the Ulster Covenant.

A huge crowd of up to 30,000 people participated in the parade across Belfast, with countless more turning out to enjoy the spectacle as it weaved its way across the city.

And as the last marcher filed home with weary feet on Saturday evening there was a collective sigh of relief that the day had gone off much better than many dared hope.

There were accusations that some of the bands had pushed the boundaries of the Parades Commission’s ruling, particularly outside St Matthew’s Church, close to the Lower Newtownards Road.

But overall the PSNI was full of praise for everyone who played a part in making the day pass peacefully after weeks of tension.

History was very much to the fore for many of those taking part in the event, which saw the march begin in north Belfast, pass City Hall, where a number of events to mark the signing were held, and make its way to Stormont.

The sprawling grounds of the Estate saw a cultural festival marking the anniversary of the signing of the document in 1912, which laid the foundations for the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland a decade later.

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Under the statue of Sir Edward Carson — the first man to sign the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall in 1912 — the crowds of tens of thousands were addressed by the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge, Edward Stevenson.

During the religious service he called on unionists to remain “steadfast and loyal”.

Mr Stevenson described how the signing of the Ulster Covenant was a key event in shaping Northern Ireland. “It helped lay the foundation stone of the country we love so much,” he said.

The crowd spanned young and old and many recalled anecdotes which had been passed from generation to generation.

“My grandfather was one of the signatories,” said Janine Haveron. “We have a letter from him describing how he queued up to sign it. There was himself, his cousin, his neighbours. It seemed a really big event.”

James Patterson, his wife Joanne and two daughters had travelled from Co Armagh for the day. “It was important for us to be here,” said James. “It is a lovely day out, but there is also an important historical element.”

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr praised the efforts of those involved.

“The day passed off in relative peace and calm,” he said. “I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of those involved in the hard work behind the scenes over recent weeks, and right up to this evening, to make this possible.”

Despite the success of the mass celebration, the historic nature of the event went largely ignored by the London Press.

Among the national Press to completely ignore the event were the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Express. The Sunday Times and Sun on Sunday both ran short articles.


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