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Day of celebration as Armagh hosts largest Twelfth celebration of 2022

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Annual 12th of July demonstrations which were held at Armagh City (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Annual 12th of July demonstrations which were held at Armagh City (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Stephen Hamilton

Marley the Cockapoo pictured Rodney and Vicky Laird at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations held at Armagh (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Marley the Cockapoo pictured Rodney and Vicky Laird at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations held at Armagh (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Stephen Hamilton

Arlene Foster and Charlie Lawson pictured at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Arlene Foster and Charlie Lawson pictured at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Stephen Hamilton

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Annual 12th of July demonstrations which were held at Armagh City (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

It was a day of celebration in Armagh as it hosted the biggest Twelfth of 2022 — and was also featured on GB News.

The parade was Northern Ireland’s largest of the year, with some 11 District Lodges, 150 Private Lodges and around 5,000 participants parading through the city.

Former DUP leader and First Minister Dame Arlene Foster was in attendance in Armagh as she anchored GB News’ live coverage of the event along with former Coronation Street actor Charlie Lawson who was on the ground for the broadcast.

Dame Arlene said the community was excited to have the live coverage coming from Armagh.

“The spectators are excited to be back, they’re excited that the live coverage is coming from here today as well, which is good because I think, in Armagh as with other rural Twelfths, you get a mixture of bands.

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“In Belfast, because of the length of the parades, they tend to just be flute bands on display. Here you have pipes, silver bands, accordion bands, as well as flute bands, so it’s a good mixture.

“They’re saying it’s the biggest parade anywhere in the world today, but it’s certainly the biggest parade in Northern Ireland.

“It’s great to be here in Armagh. It’s lovely to be here and see everybody here so happy to be back out again after not having the 12th for two years.”

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Arlene Foster and Charlie Lawson pictured at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Arlene Foster and Charlie Lawson pictured at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Stephen Hamilton

Arlene Foster and Charlie Lawson pictured at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

The sunless-but-pleasant weather and welcome cool breeze was the perfect climate for the thousands of spectators and well-wishers who lined the city’s car parks, deck chairs and shop windows along its main street.

One Orangeman remarked: “We had a parade here, just a local one, last year. And then the year before that was a wee band parade, but it’s great to get back.

“My missus only came back from Tenerife last night, she was on holidays but always comes back for the Twelfth, she wouldn’t miss it.”

Following an annual wreath laying at Antrim’s war memorial in remembrance, musicians and marchers met at Armagh’s planetarium, waiting for the march to begin.

Armagh Orange Lodge member Mervyn Walker, who had joined in hymn singing outside the lodge, said that the parade was “very good”.

“It’s great to get back to some sort of normality, County Armagh is always a big parade and a big procession, so when you see everyone together, it’s very good.”

Some onlookers even gave their pets their first experience of the Twelfth. Rodney and Vicky Laird brought one-year-old pup Marley who was mostly receptive to the sights and sounds.

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Marley the Cockapoo pictured Rodney and Vicky Laird at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations held at Armagh (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Marley the Cockapoo pictured Rodney and Vicky Laird at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations held at Armagh (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Stephen Hamilton

Marley the Cockapoo pictured Rodney and Vicky Laird at the Annual 12th of July demonstrations held at Armagh (Credit: Stephen Hamilton)

“She has been fantastic, she loves the bands. Apart from the Lambegs, but she’s getting used to them,” Rodney said.

“We came the whole way from Londonderry because my sister is from Armagh and I’ve never been, so I thought I’d come here.”

He added: “I normally go to the Londonderry one, which would be in Limavady today, but I love it here. The crowds are absolutely massive, there’s a great atmosphere and it’s staying dry.”


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