NI Orangemen in Scots vote parade

Published Thursday, 04 September 2014
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Thousands of Orange Order members from Northern Ireland are expected to travel to Scotland to take part in a massive pro-union parade next weekend.

NI Orangemen in Scots vote parade
The march is expected to be one of the Orange Order's largest in recent years. (© Getty)

The march will be held in Edinburgh on 13 September, five days before the Scottish people go to the polls to decide whether the country should remain in the UK or become independent.

A spokesman from the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said up to 15,000 people are set to take part in the demonstration, including a large number from NI.

Grand Master of the Orange Lodge in Ireland Edward Stevenson is also expected to attend, alongside his counterparts in Scotland and England, and other senior Orangemen.

It has been described as one of the largest gatherings of the Order in recent times.

While the Orange Order is an official supporter of the pro-union Better Together movement, a spokesperson from Better Together stressed that the organisation "is not part" of it.

This organisation is not part of our campaign and never will be

Better Together

However the Scottish Grand Master, Henry Dunbar, has said the organisation is very proud of the role it has played in supporting the union.

"The Orange Order in Scotland is justly proud of our British Together campaign," he said, in an interview with the Order's Orange Standard newspaper.

"It has energised our members and earned us many plaudits and admirers outside the Institution."

The referendum on Scottish independence will be held on 18 September when voters will be asked to answer the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and his SNP government are leading the 'yes' campaign, while the main opposition parties argue Scotland would be better off remaining in the UK.

According to the latest YouGov polls, the 'no' side's lead has recently collapsed to just six points on 53% while the 'yes' side is now close behind on 47% - not accounting for undecided voters.

It comes after the second of two televised debates between Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alastair Darling, which took place at the end of August.

There has also been some speculation that the Orange Order's upcoming parade could serve to alienate Catholic support for the union ahead of the referendum.

Scottish Grand Master Henry Dunbar said he believes the day will be a success.

"We anticipate a hugely effective rally in Edinburgh on 13 September," he continued. "It will be the climax of our campaign, a massive celebration of pride in the United Kingdom.

"We hope it will be instrumental in delivering a resounding victory for the Union over Alex Salmond and his misguided separatists."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
35 Comments
JJ in Belfast wrote (76 days ago):
Dinosaurs on tour braveheart beware
Sean in Scotland wrote (76 days ago):
Dont need them sectarian bigots over here spreading their hatred to a civil society.
S.B. in Belfast wrote (76 days ago):
These are the people who keep on giving. The YES campaign must be on their knees thanking the Orange Order for this parade. If anything will make many Scots vote for Independence it is the sight of 1000's of Orange dinosaurs, Loyalist paramilitary affiliated bands and drunken, bigoted hangers on trampling through Edinburgh. The NO campaign are probably shaking their heads in fury at this. The campaign for a United Ireland MUST start the day after the Scots vote for Independence as the Union will be history and Unionists will have nothing to cling on to anymore. Oh and the Union Flag will also be redundant.
Martin in Carrick wrote (76 days ago):
This vote has nothing to do with anyone from Northern Ireland unless they are Scottish. If the Orange Order in Scotland want to march that's up to them, but Scotlands independence has nothing to do with a bunch of backward looking bigots from Northern Ireland who don't even know how to move their own country forward. This could backfire big time on the better together campaign.
Kate in Derry wrote (76 days ago):
It's time the unionists in the north start maturing and start looking south for an all ireland solution, it is economically irresponsible for the parties in the north not to look at the economic consequences of Scottish independence , if there is a yes vote they will eventually move into the euro zone ...
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