The annual Twelfth of July celebrations are set to get underway again this year to mark the 332nd anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.
It’s after two years of alternative arrangements due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Preparations are at an advanced stage for the day, with upwards of an estimated half-a-million people expected to participate or spectate across Northern Ireland.
Thousands of Orangemen, women and juniors – accompanied by in the region of 600 marching bands – will step out at the various locations across the region following the annual Rossnowlagh parade held in Co Donegal on Saturday July 9.
The cities of Belfast, Armagh and Newry will each host large Twelfth of July parades, with the festivities in Armagh featuring in a live television broadcast by GB News.
A large Scottish contingent is expected in Belfast, as the city hosts the longest Twelfth parade on the day, with participants walking over six miles to the field.
Belfast and Ballymena are the only venues where Twelfth demonstrations occur annually.
Other sizeable parades will take place in Enniskillen, Castlecaulfield, Limavady and Newry.
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said he is “delighted” to see the parades return this year.
“In 2020 and 2021 we found alternative ways to mark the Twelfth, firstly with a ‘Twelfth at Home’ and then a ‘Twelfth near Home’, which featured smaller, localised parades,” he said.
“While I commend everyone for participating in these initiatives, which were designed to combat the spread of Covid-19, I’m sure we will all be delighted to return to our traditional parades.”
Mr Stevenson will be in attendance at the Bushmills demonstration and said he hopes a number of international visitors will attend.
The senior Orangeman added: “High calibre music provided by some of the finest marching bands will only add to the festival atmosphere. We look forward to another glorious Twelfth.”
The 18 demonstrations on Tuesday, July 12 2022, will be held at: Glenarm, Ballymena, Bushmills, Antrim, Cullybackey, Magheragall, Armagh City, Belfast, Ballygowan, Greyabbey, Newry, Ballymartin, Enniskillen, Limavady, Tobermore, Castlecaulfield, Omagh and Aughnacloy.
Details of the parades as follows:
The annual Rossnowlagh procession, will be held on Saturday, July 9, just three days before the demonstrations in Northern Ireland. It is expected that upwards of 50 lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orangemen from Northern Ireland and further afield, will take part in the parade which begins close to St John’s Parish Church at 12.30pm.
The parade then makes its way down a narrow country road, to the demonstration field, on the edge of the shoreline. A religious service will be held at 3pm. The service will be conducted by Rev. Brian Russell, Rector of Drumholm Parish. A collection will be held on the day in aid of Orange charities. The return parade will leave the demonstration field at 4.45pm.
Eleven District Lodges will be on parade in Armagh, with a total of 150 Private Lodges and almost 5,000 brethren taking part. This parade will be broadcast live on GB News. The Co Armagh Demonstration can attract upwards of 20,000 spectators, including some from across the border.
Approximately 65 bands will accompany the Lodges and some of the finest Pipe, Accordion, Silver and Flute Bands in the country will be on parade. Armagh District LOL No. 5 is hosting this year’s parade. The District Lodge holds an Act of Remembrance each Twelfth morning outside Armagh Orange Hall on the picturesque Mall, where 7 members murdered during The Troubles, are commemorated on a Memorial Plaque.
The Lodges of the host District will assemble on The Mall from 9.00am where they will be joined by County Grand Lodge Officers. They will then parade to the Armagh War Memorial at 9.45am to lay a wreath and be joined by the first of the visiting Districts. The main parade, headed by Tassagh Silver Band and Tassagh True Blues LOL 49, will then commence at approximately 10am. Armagh District will be followed by Richhill, Killylea, Lurgan, Newtownhamilton and Portadown, Districts; the remainder of the Districts, namely, Markethill, Bessbrook, Keady, Tandragee and Loughgall will parade as they arrive, and by 12.30pm, all Districts should be in the Demonstration Field at Hamiltonsbawn Road.
The Chair will be taken at 1.45pm by the County Grand Master, Rt Wor Bro Denis J Watson JP, and proceedings will commence with the traditional religious service, conducted by Wor. Bro. Rev. Dr. Alan McCann, County Grand Chaplain. The return parade is scheduled to commence from the Demonstration Field at 3.00pm, with Lurgan District LOL No. 6 being the first to leave.
The parade will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carlisle Circus, at 10am. As is tradition, the Millar Memorial Flute band will lead the parade as it makes its way along Clifton Street, Donegal Street, Royal Avenue, Castle Junction and Donegall Place to Belfast City Hall.
A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall shortly before 10.30am and the parade will then proceed via Donegall Square West, Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftsbury Square, Bradbury Place, Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue and Malone Road to Barnett’s Demesne. Orangemen and women representing a total of nine districts – accompanied by approximately 60 bands – will walk the six-mile route, traditionally the longest of all the Twelfth demonstrations.
The platform proceedings at Barnett’s Demesne will begin at 2.30pm and the chairman for the afternoon will be the County Grand Master, Spencer Beattie. The return parade is due to leave the field and proceed towards the city centre at 3.30pm.
Twenty-seven lodges and 15 accompanying bands will take part in the annual Twelfth celebrations in Ballymena. The town is the only one in Northern Ireland which has a Twelfth demonstration every year. Belfast City also hosts an annual Twelfth parade.
This year the honour of hosting the parade belongs to the members of Kellswater LOL No. 453 and Kellswater Flute Band, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. At 12.30pm they will proceed to the demonstration field at Ballee Playing Fields via Waveney Road, Galgorm Road, Pentagon, Lower Mill Street, Wellington Street, Ballymoney Street, William Street, Broughshane Street, Broadway, Church Street, Bridge Street, Harryville Bridge, Salisbury Square, Queens Street, Antrim Road and Ballee Road West.
The religious service will be led by Grand Chaplain Grand Chaplain Wor. Bro. Rev. Ian McClean with Most Wor. Bro. Henry Dunbar from Scotland the guest speaker. The return parade will get underway at 4.30pm.
Sixty eighty lodges and approximately 60 bands will gather in Antrim as the town plays host to the East Antrim Twelfth of July Demonstration for the first time since 2010.
The parade, which will be led by Murray’s Temperance True Blues LOL 201 and Steeple Defenders Flute Band, will depart from Fountain Hill at 11.00am and follow a route via Fountain Street, Church Street, High Street, Bridge Street, Dublin Road, Randalstown Road, to the demonstration field at Castle Road. The religious service will be led by Chaplain Rev. Peter Blake of All Saints Church of Ireland, Antrim. The return parade will begin at 4pm.
Bushmills’ Twelfth of July parade will commence at 1pm with the return leg starting at 3.30pm. A total of thirty-seven bands will feature in the parade, including flute, accordion and pipe bands. The route for the outward leg is Castlecatt Road and Main Street before it finishes at the traditional demonstration field – known locally as the “Clay Field” – on the Whitepark Road.
The return parade is the reverse of this. Platform speakers will include the Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson and Lord Rogan. The religious service will be carried out by the Rev. Brother Campbell Mulvenna. The parade will be headed by Bushmills District Officers and invited guests, including the Grand Master and Lord Rogan, and some County officers.
Sixteen lodges will take part in the ‘Triangle’ Twelfth of July parade which will be held this year in Cullybackey. The parade, which will feature flute and accordion bands and several lambeg drums, will assemble at the Methodist Church in Cullybackey from 12 noon in preparation to leave at 12.30pm. The religious service in the demonstration field will be led by District Chaplain Rev. Samuel McKay.
The Braid Twelfth of July celebrations will be going country in Glenarm this year. Performing in the field will be Kenny Archer and other country music stars including Trevor Dixon and Kenny Paul.
The 11 lodges and their accompanying bands will leave from Shore Road at 12noon making its way up round Mark Street, down the Vennel and up Straidkilly Road to the field. The return parade will get underway at 4pm.
Upwards of 2,000 Orangemen and women are expected to be on parade in Magheragall for the South Antrim Combine demonstration. Brethren from seven districts will take part – Lisburn, Glenavy, Magheragall, Hillsborough, Derriaghy, Ballinderry and Aghalee.
The parade, which will cover a route of 1.7miles, will leave the assembly area in Enterprise Crescent at 11.30am and includes more than 20 bands and a large selection of lambeg drums. Leading the way will be Magheragall District LOL No. 9 accompanied by the lambeg drums from LOL 121 Broomedge. The return parade will commence at 4pm approximately.
Upwards of 100 lodges, accompanied by around 80 bands, will take part in the Twelfth celebrations at Newry in what is expected to be the largest Twelfth parade in Co Down. Orangemen and women of host district, Newry, will be joined by their contemporaries from Banbridge, Bann Valley, Lower Iveagh, Lower Iveagh West, Rathfriland, Loughbrickland, and Gilford.
The parade will assemble at Newry High School and at 11.45am the new South-West Down Area Conference Standard will be dedicated and unfurled. The parade will get underway at 12noon led by the host District and will travel via Ashgrove Road, Downshire Road, Kildare Street, Hill Street, Margaret Street, The Mall, Bank Parade, Sugar Island, Trevor Hill, Downshire Road, Belfast Road, Ardmore/Shandon Park, Cloghanrmer Road, A28 to the demonstration Field.
The platform proceedings in the field will commence at 2.15pm led by Wor. Bro. Gary Ferris. District Chaplain Wor. Bro. Norman Hutton will lead a short religious service. The return parade will get underway at 4pm.
The village of Greyabbey will play host to a Twelfth of July parade for the first time in more than 50 years. The village was due to host the Twelfth in 2020 but due to the Coronavirus Pandemic it has had to wait an extra two years.
More than 40 lodges accompanied by 30 bands, three Ladies Lodges and four junior lodges will be on parade lead by the Brethren of Greyabbey LOL 1592 and Greyabbey Flute Band. The parade will leave the Assembly Field at Spring Road at 12noon and will follow a route along Newtownards Road, Main Street, Church Street through St. Saviour’s Church Car Park (beside The Abbey) to the Field in Rosemount Estate behind The Church. The return parade will begin at 4.30pm.
The village of Ballygowan will play host to Twelfth of July celebrations for the first time since 2010. The Brethren of Saintfield District will be welcoming their peers from Comber, Lecale, Ballynahinch and Castlewellan.
In total, 61 lodges from the five participating districts will be on parade accompanied by around 48 bands. Leading the parade, which gets underway at 12noon, will be the Brethren of Barnamaghery LOL No. 11 accompanied by Wellington Memorial Silver Band.
The route will see the parade, which features a fine selection of flute, pipe, accordion, silver and brass bands, leave Ravara Road at 12noon travelling along Saintfield Road, Meadow Way, Oakdale, Prospect Road, Tullygarvan Road, Belfast Road, Saintfield Road and returning to Ravara Road. The return parade begins at 4.15pm.
More than 1,000 Orangemen from Mourne District LOL No. 6 will partake in one of the most scenic Twelfth parades in Northern Ireland. The 15 lodges on parade will be accompanied by their own bands, adding to the special family atmosphere on the day in the Co. Down coastal village of Ballymartin.
The Lodges span the whole of the Mournes from the Silent Valley LOL 263 (at foot of the Mournes) to Cranfield LOL 907 (overlooking the mouth of Carlingford Lough) to Annalong (LOL 342, LOL 1330 and LOL 1702). Mourne District is the biggest in the Orange Institution with 1,085 members and has the largest Private Lodge, Ballyvea LOL 343a, with 162 members. This year it is the turn of Ballymageogh LOL 1036 to lead the parade with Ballymageogh Accordion Band.
The Kilkeel Lodges leave Kilkeel Orange Hall at 10:45am to parade the three miles to Ballymartin. There, they join with the remainder of the District and return to the Demonstration field where friends and family will join the brethren. The Platform Proceedings begin at 2:15pm. The District will leave to commence the homeward parade at 4:00pm.
The County Fermanagh Twelfth of July demonstration will take place in Enniskillen this year. The Fermanagh parade traditionally encompasses the entire county with Brethren taking part from Newtownbutler, Lisbellaw, Brookeborough, Lisnaskea, Enniskillen, Ballinamallard, Kinawley, Glenawley, Lisnarick, Pettigo, Magheraboy, Church Hill, Maguiresbridge, Garrison and Tempo districts.
The Sisters of Women’s Districts 1, 2 and 3, Junior Lodges from South Fermanagh, Brookeborough, Maguiresbridge, Ballinamallard and South Fermanagh Junior Girls Lodge will also be on parade. Enniskillen will also play host to visiting lodges from the Republic of Ireland, representing Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan and their bands. The parade, which will be led by Maguiresbridge District Officers and Maguiresbridge Silver Band, will form up in the Royal British Legion Car Park before leaving at 12noon and following a route along Wellington Road, Belmore Street, East Bridge Street, Townhall Street, High Street, Church Street, Darling Street, Castle Street, Wellington Road to Castle Car Park. County Grand Chaplain Rev. Rodney Beacom will lead the religious service in the field before the parade at approximately 3.30pm.
The Twelfth of July for North Londonderry returns to the capital of the Roe Valley with Limavady District LOL No. 6 hosting the demonstration for the first time in the town since 2016. Brethren of the 15 Lodges, Ladies Lodge, Junior Lodges and 11 Bands from Limavady District look forward to welcoming visiting brethren, sisters and bands from Coleraine and Macosquin Districts, as well as the City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge comprising of three Districts from Londonderry, Cumber Claudy and East Donegal.
A number of visitors from Scotland will also take part in the parade. The parade will leave from Church Street at 12noon lead by Limavady District LOL No.6, The City Grand Lodge of Londonderry, Coleraine District LOL No.2 and Macosquin District LOL No.8 and parade through the town centre to the Orange Field at Roemill Road with 40 bands taking part including Flute, Accordion and Pipe. The return parade starts at 3.15pm with the Limavady Lodges breaking ranks on Protestant Street to allow visiting Brethren, Sisters and Bands personnel to pass through to their buses on Church Street.
Large crowds are expected to converge on the village of Tobermore for the annual south Londonderry demonstration. There will be a total of eight districts on parade – Garvagh, Castledawson, Magherafelt, Kilrea, Ballyronan, Tamlaght O’Crilly, Moneymore and the hosts Tobermore District LOL No. 11. The parade will start from Golf Driving Range, Maghera Road at 12noon. The route will be Maghera Road, Main Street and Wood Road to the Demonstration Field. A religious service will take place in the Demonstration Field at 2pm.
The Historic South Tyrone Village of Castlecaulfield will host the biggest Twelfth Demonstration in Co. Tyrone, where as many as 40,000 Spectators are expected to enjoy the festivities. Orange Brethren from the Districts of Killyman, Stewartstown, Cookstown, Pomeroy, Coagh and Benburb, accompanied by local Women's and Junior Lodges, will join with the host district Castlecaulfield as upwards of 70 Lodges and over 50 bands comprising of – Silver, Accordion, Pipe and Flute – will participate in the annual gathering.
The main parade will move off at 12.30pm from the Assembly Field situated on the Donaghmore Road, headed by Castlecaulfield's own WJ Armstrong Memorial Pipe Band and Lodge LOL 45. It will proceed via Drumrainey Road and Main Street to the Demonstration Field on Reaskcor Road. The Platform Proceedings will commence at 2pm in the Demonstration Field, where the Religious Service will take place.The Return Parade will leave the Demonstration Field again at 3.30pm onwards and parade back through the village proceeding along Reaskcor Road and Main Street, to various dispersal points.
The Clogher Valley Twelfth of July celebrations are being hosted this year by Annahoe District LOL No. 6 in the village of Aughnacloy. The parade will be moving off at 12.40pm from the Assembly point on the Dungannon Road, in the vicinity of Aughnacloy College/Council Playing Fields, travelling along Moore Street to the Augher Road and will return to the grounds of Aughnacloy College for refreshments.
The religious service will be led by the Rev. Maurice Armstrong. A fun-packed afternoon is assured with a programme from 2pm to 3.30pm which includes performance from ‘The Hilltop Dancers’ (Ulster-Scots Group) as well as massed band music. The return parade will get underway at 3.30pm returning to the assembly point for dispersal.
The Brethren in Omagh District LOL No. 11 will welcome their counterparts from Strabane, Sixmilecross, Fintona, Newtownstewart and Killen districts for a very family orientated Twelfth of July in Omagh. They will be joined on parade by two local lodges from the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland and junior lodges and accompanied by approximately 60 bands, including pipe, accordion and flute.
The parade will get underway at 12.30pm led by Strabane District and will follow a three-mile route, leaving Campsie Playing Fields, King James Bridge, Dublin Road, Market Street, High Street, John Street, Church Street, George Street, High Street, Bridge Street, Mountjoy Road, Drumragh Avenue, Market Street, Campsie Road, Crevenagh Road and back into Campsie Playing Fields. The return parade will get underway at 4pm. Omagh last hosted the Twelfth celebrations in 2014.