Published Saturday, 05 July 2014
Edward Stevenson, Grand Master of the Orange Lodge of Ireland, was speaking at the annual Twelfth gathering at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.
"This will take place over the coming days," he said.
"I would also reiterate my appeal, and that of the Institution, for any associated protests to be both lawful and peaceful. Violence should not prevail."
He also said: "As we look forward to the 17 Twelfth demonstrations across Northern Ireland next weekend, we are also mindful of recent political developments following another disastrous decision by the Parades Commission regarding our brethren in Ligoniel, Belfast.
"This followed on from the shambolic and ludicrous determination preventing Orangemen from dedicating an arch in memory of an esteemed past member in Portadown."
Grand Lodge is fully supportive of the united graduated response by unionism to this latest constraint on our legitimate cultural expression and traditions.
Edward Stevenson, Ireland Grand Master
"Numerous other parades across Northern Ireland, as we know, also face continuing intransigent and deliberate opposition by republicans.
"We cannot underestimate the seriousness of the situation but there is no doubt that unionism is stronger when it is united and speaking with one voice."
Mr Stevenson also invited the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins to next year's Twelfth demonstration in Co Donegal.
"You will be made most welcome here in Rossnowlagh, President Higgins, and I trust you will accept the genuine invitation in the spirit of good will and neighbourliness in which it is intended.
"In your inaugural speech, you spoke of a "common shared future built on the spirit of co-operation", about "equality" and "respect for all".
"What better way to make such words a reality by reaching out in a hand of friendship to the minority Protestant community in the Republic; the symbolism of which would have positive ramifications beyond the boundaries of County Donegal."
Thousands attended the Twelfth celebrations on the north-west coast on Saturday with around 50 Orange lodges and their supporters taking part.
Bands from all over Ulster, Ireland and further afield participating in the annual gathering at Rossnowlagh.
The Twelfth has been held in Co Donegal since the 1900s and has taken place in Rossnowlagh every year since 1978.
The event is significant in that it is the only Twelfth parade held in the Republic of Ireland.
There are 44 Orange halls in the border counties of Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim.
However, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has members in nine counties in the Republic.
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