The Twelfth's economic boost
Five members of my Orange lodge were in Northern Ireland for five days over the Twelfth.
We took part in the parade in Rossnowlagh in Donegal, had a tour around the Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall in Londonderry, a couple of pints in the Limavady Rangers club, visited the Boyne Heritage Centre, had soda scones with jam in Dan Winter's Cottage, spent the Eleventh night in Sandy Row, watched the Twelfth in Belfast, and the Sham Fight at Scarva. Not the Grand Tour, but an enjoyable five days during which (air fares excluded) we spent something in the region of £3,000.
The parade in Belfast took over an hour to pass and required just five policemen to accompany it.
A combination of discipline, promotion, mutual respect, and good humour should mean that all can enjoy the spectacle of the Twelfth without giving or taking offence, while a massive economic boost to towns and villages across the country is also delivered.