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Sun comes out for the parades in Roe Valley

By Clare Weir

The sun finally shone on Limavady on the Twelfth as Orangemen, bands and supporters wound their way into the field at Roemill Road in the town.

A large crowd turned out to watch the procession, which included up to 47 bands from four districts.

Along the route, barbeque smoke and tempting smells drifted from every corner, and two-year-old Matthew Hasson from Limavady was one of those tucking into a burger.

He was one of many who made the stop at the Church Street home of an enterprising family who set up a stall selling organic grub to passing customers.

Down at the assembly point on Scroggy Road, Orangemen queued up for tea, buns and Ulster fries.

Among them were current Governor of the Apprentice Boys, William Allen, and his predecessor Alistair Simpson.

James Wilson also lined up, and proudly told of how he is almost on his 60th Twelfth parade.

"I've been coming for 59 years and I hope to be here next year!" he laughed.

Nearby, the Newbuildings Victoria Lodge showed off their new banner, showing the "Protestant Exodus of the West Bank" in 1969 - while Derry DUP councillor Joe Miller showed off one of his trademark natty ties.

His party colleague and Assembly speaker William Hay wasn't taking any chances with the weather and was one of many brandishing a large umbrella.

"After the weather last night, I think everybody is expecting rain," he said.

"I think it is better to be safe than sorry, but I really hope the rain stays off."

Also looking the part was Donna Robinson, who travelled from Convoy in Co Donegal, who added a touch of kitsch with a cowboy hat and Union flag.

Luckily for Mr Hay and friends, the dry conditions held out until the parade arrived at the field close to the River Roe and the sun began to shine.

Many found a spot on the grass whilst others indulged in a few refreshments or some ice cream while the sun lasted and youngsters made a bee-line for the mini amusement park.

At journeys end, the DUP's Rev William McCrea was among those addressing the crowds.

Between 8,500 and 9000 Orange Order members were said to have taken part in the demonstration.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph