Belfast Telegraph

Orange Order to remember its victims of the Troubles

Orange Order grand master Edward Stevenson lays a wreath at Schomberg House
Orange Order grand master Edward Stevenson lays a wreath at Schomberg House

By Staff Reporter

The Orange Order is to hold a series of commemorations across Northern Ireland to mark its second annual victims' day.

On Sunday the Loyal Order will formally remember the 338 Orangemen and one Orangewoman murdered by terrorists during the Troubles.

The event will also highlight the ongoing plight of the injured and bereaved.

Grand master Edward Stevenson has already laid a wreath at the institution's memorial window at Schomberg House in east Belfast.

County, district and private lodges are being encouraged to hold events in their areas which commemorate murdered members within their locality.

Many Orange halls are expected to fly flags at half-mast.

Among the confirmed activities on Sunday will be the unveiling and dedicating of a stone on the outside wall of Killen Orange Hall in Co Tyrone by Killen District LOL No 12.

The stone features 13 names - including that of the only murdered Orangewoman - Heather Kerrigan.

A memorial service to Orange members murdered during the Troubles connected with the City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge will also be held at the Memorial Tablet in the lodge room of the Apprentice Boys memorial hall on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at Sloan's House in Loughgall, Co Armagh, the Grand Lodge, in partnership with victims' group, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, will hold a service of reflection at 3.30pm.

In Co Down, Lower Iveagh District LOL No 1 will also hold a service of reflection and remembrance in the grounds of Dromore Orange Hall.

A service will be conducted by Bro Rev Victor Neill, grand chaplain of the County Down Grand Orange Lodge.

Portadown District LOL 1 will hold an act of remembrance at the town war memorial on Sunday.

On Monday, there will be a screening of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland documentary Strong to Survive, followed by a talk by victims' campaigner Sammy Heenan in Cranfield Orange Hall from 7.30pm.

September 1 also marks the date in 1975 when the IRA attacked Tullyvallen Orange Hall, claiming the lives of five Orangemen.

The majority of Orange victims were murdered while serving as members of the security forces and Mr Stevenson said these events "serve as a constant reminder of the loss experienced by Orangeism" during the Troubles.

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