Twelfth parades take place across NI

Published Thursday, 12 July 2012
Toggle font size

Thousands of people have attended Twelfth of July parades across Northern Ireland.

Twelfth parades take place across NI
Parade in Belfast. (© Pacemaker)

Eighteen events were held across the region, the largest of which happened in Belfast.

Almost 120 lodges, accompanied by around 70 bands, made their way through the city centre on Thursday morning, up the Lisburn Road and out to Barnett's Park for the afternoon demonstration.

The route is six miles in each direction.

Ligoniel lodges had a token return parade from Barnett's Park to Ardoyne as a 'peaceful solution' to a 4pm deadline imposed on them by the parades watchdog.

Enniskillen, Carrickfergus and Ballynahinch were chosen by the Grand Orange Lodge to host flagship parades, and received extra support as tourist events.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Tourism Minister Arlene Foster visited Enniskillen with Hugo Swire, NI Minister of State, and Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar.

This was the first visit by an Irish Minister to Northern Ireland on the Twelfth of July and followed an invitation from Ms Foster.

During his visit, Minister Varadkar was taken on the NI2012 branded MV Kestrel boat along Lough Erne and up to Enniskillen Castle to watch the parade arrive.

Mr Robinson was impressed by Enniskillen's flagship parade.

"We've had a very good visit, we've been out on the lake, we've been to the castle, we've got the sun shining and a fantastic demonstration, what more could anybody ask for?

I think there’s a very relaxed family atmosphere, it’s good to see so many lodges coming in from the south and we’ve got many visitors from all around the world here in Enniskillen.

Peter Robinson

"The demonstration here has a special setting and I've really enjoyed the visit here and I look forward to many more demonstrations to come," he said.

"The aim of these parades is to broaden their appeal to tourists by creating festival-type event, " Ms Foster added.

"We must seek to develop and embrace our unique and rich culture and heritage and events such as today's flagship parade, I believe do just that."

Minister Varadkar met some Orange Order members from Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Speaking after the event, he said: "Since becoming a Minister I have placed a particular emphasis on working with the Executive in Northern Ireland to develop our tourism industry on an all-island basis.

"The peace process has been of enormous benefit to the tourism industry on both sides of the border. That process depends on dialogue and co-operation, and by showing an understanding of one another's traditions and backgrounds.

"These are challenging matters, but they are vital to the process of normalisation from which we all benefit. That is why I am visiting Enniskillen today."

Meanwhile PSNI Area Commander for Newry and Mourne is Chief Inspector Davy Beck welcomed the peaceful conclusion of the Twelfth of July demonstrations in Newry.

He praised the work on both sides to ensure that the event went off peacefully and thanked the local community, participants and spectators.

Parades were also held in Donaghadee, Broughshane, Ballymena, Portglenone, Pomeroy, Crumlin, Keady, Aughnacloy, Castlederg, Newry, Kilkeel, Cloughmills, Tobermore and Coleraine.

The Grand Master of the Loyal Orange Institution Alan McLean made his address to members in Rasharkin and has said that renewed threats existed to the Protestant constitution.

He said a proposed change in law that would allow a monarch to marry a member of the Catholic Church would put the Protestant monarchy in "real danger".

He also highlighted the approaching centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant, saying the Union is "stronger than ever" and paid tribute to the Queen for 60 years of service as monarch.

Leading Orange Order spokesman Reverend Mervyn Gibson spoke in Belfast of the threat from the Scottish National Party's aim to make Scotland independent from the United Kingdom and hit out at the Parades Commission.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Peter in Belfast wrote (929 days ago):
Lorna et al: The parades are embarrassing. My relations in England, Belgium, Australia and America always ask me the same thing: Why are they still celebrating that? “Can they not move on?” is the question I am always asked. I fail to see where growing up (if it was needed) would help any of those comments lol (stands for laughing out loud not to be mistaken with the LOL). Anyway my point stands and I am eager to see a well structured argument against: The parades are an embarrassing throw-back to a bygone era and the Loyal Orange Lodge really does need to move on. P.S. I equally hate the 1916 parades for Sinn Fein (pre-empting you there) .
Stuart in Glasgow wrote (931 days ago):
well done to the men and woman in Ulster for organising what sounds like another fantastic demonstration.
Linda in NI wrote (931 days ago):
Your evening programme coverage of the 12 July demonstrations was pathetic only half an hour given to this culture with a few minutes afforded to each venue this is not exactly equality compared to coverage given throughout the year to other cultures. You have to do better than this. If viewers dont like the coverage they can turn over just like i have to do when you cover something im not interested in
Guilpin in Earth wrote (931 days ago):
Ahhhhh...... The March of the Dinosaurs.
lorna in limavady wrote (931 days ago):
Peter dear . G R O W U P ! we do not need any more trouble for Orange parades truthful i have no interist in your comments. I wonder why they appear at all.
Email address*:    
House Rules:  
Your Comment:  
[All comments are moderated and will not appear immediately. Your name, location and comment will be displayed on this page if your post passes moderation.]
January snow
Tue 13 January 2015
Wintry weather
Wed 28 January 2015
Ravenhill Road fish spill
Sun 25 January 2015