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Thousands turn out to celebrate glorious Twelfth

Rain fails to dampen spirits across Ulster

By Victoria O'Hara

Tens of thousands of Orangemen marched across Ulster yesterday marking the annual Twelfth celebrations.

Despite the wet conditions, members of the public lined the streets in towns, cities and villages throughout Northern Ireland to catch a glimpse of the many lodges and bands which were involved in marking the 317th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Among the main demonstrations were those held in Belfast and Enniskillen.

Ten districts gathered in Belfast city centre, while in Enniskillen 100 lodges and 80 bands took part.

King Billy made an appearance on horseback in Holywood, Co Down, leading 50 lodges and 46 bands from Newtownards, Upper Ards, Holywood and Bangor as they paraded through north Down.

Meanwhile, Limavady hosted the City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge as well as the districts of Limavady, Macosquin and Coleraine.

Lodges also travelled from Donegal to take part in the parade, which gathered in the demonstration field on the banks of the River Roe.

The speaker at the field was South Antrim MP and MLA Rev William McCrea.

It was a real family day in Augher thanks to the work of the Fivemiletown District Cultural Group.

King Billy made another appearance, leading around 25 bands and lodges from Fivemiletown and Annahoe.

Ex-military vehicles took part in the procession and in the demonstration field on the main Clogher Road.

In Lenaderg, around 5,000 people took part in the parade which involved 99 lodges from eight districts.

During the parade, brethren stepped out along Huntly Road and passed within yards of the spot on the River Bann where King William and his army forded the river on their way to the Boyne.

Parades were also held in Loughgall, Moneymore, Ballynahinch, Ballymartin, Maghaberry, Ballymena, Braid, Ahoghill and Cloughfern.

A message from the Grand Master, Robert Saulters, praised the work to develop the site of the Battle of the Boyne.

"The Grand Lodge is delighted with the progress being made in turning the Battle of the Boyne site into a place of beauty that will also highlight the historical aspects of a battle that had such an impact on parliamentary democracy throughout Europe and the United States of America.

"The Government of the Republic of Ireland has already completed the first phase at Oldbridge House and the old stables are being restored to their previous glory," he added.

Belfast Telegraph


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