The Twelfth, commemorating the Battle of the Boyne triumph in 1690, will be celebrated at 19 different locations across Northern Ireland on Wednesday, with the Co Donegal parade scheduled for the coastal resort of Rossnowlagh tomorrow.
An estimated 50,000 lodge brethren and members of 800 bands will provide a highly colourful spectacle for the scores of thousands of spectators who will gather at the various locations. A large continent of Orangemen and bands from Scotland and England will take part.
The Co Donegal ‘Twelfth’ parade takes place tomorrow with 3,000 Orangemen and women expected.
The 50 Irish Republic lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan will be joined by contingents from across Northern Ireland.
The parade begins close to St John’s Parish Church at noon to the field along the picturesque Atlantric shoreline. The sermon will be delivered by Robert Campbell, Co Antrim deputy grand chaplain, and main speaker is Stuart Brooker, assistant grand master of Ireland.
Proceedings will be chaired by the Donegal Grand Master David Mahon.
The Donegal Twelfth has been held in Rossnowlagh since the 1900s. There are 40 Orange halls in Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has members in nine counties of the Republic.
The largest Twelfth parade is in the picturesque Co Armagh village. Eleven district lodges with 154 private lodges and 70 bands from the historic county, where the Orange Order was formed in 1795, will provide a highly colourful spectacle for the expected influx of 25,000 people.
Ladies from the Women’s Orange Institution and junior lodges will also take part.
County Armagh Grand Lodge has had a significant increase in membership over the past year. Four Scottish bands will head lodges from Portadown and Lurgan and there will be scores of Lambeg drums in the parade.
The six Richhill lodges host the celebrations. The main parade begins at 9.30am, with Richhill lodges headed by Battlehill pipe band, followed by Portadown, Killylea, Keady, Lurgan, Armagh and Markethill districts.
Remaining districts – Loughgall, Newtownhamilton, Bessbrook and Tandragee – will parade as they arrive.
The parade commences from Legacorry Road and proceeds through the village to the field at Tirnascobe Road. Platform proceedings will be conducted by County Grand Master Denis Watson and the service will be led by Rev Dr Alan McCann, county chaplain.
The parade leaves Belfast Orange Hall, at Carlisle Circus, at 10am, led by Millar Memorial flute band. Lodges move to Belfast City Hall and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph.
At 10.30am, the main parade then proceeds via Donegall Square West, Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftesbury Square, Bradbury Place, Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue and Malone Road to Barnett’s Demense.
Orangemen and women, representing nine districts – accompanied by 60 bands, 20 of them from Scotland – will walk the six-mile route.
A large Scottish contingent always travels to Belfast for the Twelfth, both to participate in and spectate. Taking part will be Scottish Grand Secretary Eddie Hyde. Platform proceedings will be led by Belfast Grand Master George Chittick. Main speaker will be Rev Dr Ron Johnstone, grand chaplain, The return parade begins at 4.15pm.
The Co Fermanagh Twelfth is traditionally a cross-border event, with lodges from Monaghan, Cavan, Donegal and Leitrim taking part.
The demonstration is renowned for its relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. The 90 Fermanagh lodges, 20 Irish Republic lodges, members of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen, five junior lodges, and 70 bands make it one of Ulster’s biggest parades.
This year, due to live BBC television coverage, the main parade will commence at 10.45am. The procession will be headed by ‘King William’ on horseback. Co Fermanagh Grand Lodge has a memorial bannerette, bearing the names of 31 members in Co Fermanagh murdered by republican terrorists.
Fermanagh has 15 districts – Enniskillen, Kinawley, Glenawley, Ballinamallard, Lisnarick, Pettigo, Magheraboy, Churchill, Garrison, Tempo, Newtownbutler, Brookeborough, Lisnaskea, Maguiresbridge and Lisbellaw.
Seventy lodges will be on parade in the South and East Tyrone demonstration, representing seven districts, and accompanied by 60 bands.
Joining local brethren will be Stewartstown, Coagh, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Benburb and Killyman districts.
Special guest for the day will be the Grand Master of Ireland, Edward Stevenson.
It will be a memorable day for members of Montober fute band, who celebrate 100 years since the band’s formation. Organisers anticipate up to 20,000 spectators along the two-mile route. The main parade proceeds through the town centre to Moneymore Road.
Orangemen and women representing six districts will be on parade in the West Tyrone village. Several thousand Orangemen and band members will take part.
Joining members of Sixmilecross District LOL No 7, will be 60 lodges from Omagh, Fintona, Newtownstewart, Killen and Strabane districts. Co Tyrone Grand Master Jim Emery will join the marchers. The lodges will be accompanied by a large number of pipe bands, which have a traditionally strong base in the area.
The parade leaves Cooley Road at 12.30pm and proceeds to the field on Moylagh Road. The service will be conducted by Rev Alan Irwin, deputy grand chaplain.
Twenty-five lodges from two districts – Annahoe and Fivemiletown – will parade at the Clogher Valley Twelfth. Maintaining a long-held tradition, Orangemen from neighbouring Co Monaghan will also be present. They include the Violet Hill lodge, who normally attend the Co Fermanagh parade.
Lodges, accompanied by 20 bands, will assemble at Station Road with the main parade moving off at 12.15pm. It will proceed to the field at Fivemiletown Road. Guest speaker will be the Rev Maurice Armstrong, a local Church of Ireland minister.
Three thousand Orangemen representing 60 lodges will take part in the North Londonderrry Twelfth. Host district Macosquin and a huge crowd of spectators is expected to enjoy the festivities.
As is traditional, members of Macosquin district will be joined by brethren from Coleraine, Londonderry city, Limavady, as well as Co Donegal. More than 50 bands will lead the lodges.
On parade will be a new bannerette honouring Orangemen from Co Londonderry who were murdered during the Troubles. Dungiven LOL 2036 will also carry their new banner.
Ballarena Faith Defenders LOL 984 and Ballarena accordion band are both celebrating their 70th anniversary this year.
The main parade starts at noon, through the town centre to the field at Carthall Road. The religious service will be conducted by Rev John Noble, a grand chaplain of Ireland. Main speaker will be Samuel Calvin, deputy county grand master of Co Londonderry.
The village will host the South Londonderry demonstration, with several thousand Orangemen taking part.
Sixty lodges from eight districts, including hosts Kilrea and Tamlaght O’Crilly, will be joined by neighbouring brethren from Moneymore, Magherafelt, Garvagh, Ballyronan, Castledawson and Tobermore. They will be led by 50 bands.
The main parade starts at 11.30am and will proceed to the demonstration field at Kilrea mart. Guest speaker will be Assistant Grand Master, Lewis Singleton, from Markethill in Co Armagh.
One hundred lodges and 70 bands will take part in the largest parade in Co Down. Orangemen and women of the local district will be joined by lodges from Bann Valley, Lower Iveagh, Rathfriland, Lower Iveagh West, Loughbrickland, Gilford and Newry districts.
Organisers expect a crowd of 20,000 to witness the colour and pageantry.
The main parade starts at Banbridge Rugby Club at noon and proceeds via the town centre to the demonstration field at Peggy’s Loaning. Among lodges taking part will be Banbridge Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423, which recently raised £35,000 for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice after climbing the four highest mountains in the UK – accompanied by a Lambeg drum.
Also taking part will be Seapatrick flute band – one of the oldest flute bands in Ireland formed in 1873 – and Lisnaward flute, which celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Guest speaker will be Henry Dunbar, past grand master of Scotland. The religious service will be conducted by Rev Norman Hutton, chaplain of Newry district.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the north Down Twelfth, a region steeped in Orange history.
The Duke of Schomberg – King William’s second-in-command – along with his army arrived in nearby Groomsport to pave the way for King William III to cross the sea from England ahead of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Fifty lodges – representing Newtownards, Holywood, Upper Ards and Bangor districts – will be accompanied by a similar number of bands.
The main procession proceeds from Castle Park Avenue at noon, parading through the town centre to Valentine playing fields. It will be led by Johnston Memorial LOL 862 to symbolically mark the 150th anniversary this year of the peaceful protest procession from Newtownards to Bangor, with William Johnston of Ballykilbeg on July 12 in 1867. This event was held in opposition to the Party Processions Act.
Guest speaker at the demonstration field will be the Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Rev Mervyn Gibson.
The Mid-Down demonstration will have five districts represented – Comber, Saintfield, Lecale, Castlewellan, and Ballynahinch.
The main parade will depart from the High School at 12.15pm and proceed through the town centre to Spa Road demonstration field.
Seventy lodges and 40 bands and Lambeg drumming parties will lead the ‘Heart of Down’ lodges, many of whom have very historic links back to the origins of Orangeism.
A religious service will be conducted by local chaplains and the guest speaker will be Rathfriland Orangeman Harold Henning, deputy grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.
More than 1,000 Orangemen from Mourne District will participate in one of the most scenic Twelfth parades. Fourteen of the 15 lodges will have their own bands, adding to the special family atmosphere in the seaside village.
Among them will be the biggest individual private lodge in Ireland – Ballyvea LOL 343 boasting 162 members.
As is tradition, Kilkeel lodges will leave Kilkeel Orange hall at 10.30am and walk the five-mile route to Annalong. They will meet their fellow brethren at Valley Road, before the entire district parades through Annalong.
Aughnahoory Heroes LOL 343b has a new banner to local war hero, Robert Hill Hanna. The Kilkeel native, a soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, received the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery in the First World War.
Guest speakers will be Sam Walker, Co Down grand master, and Rev Bobbie Stevenson, a Presbyterian minister and a Mourne Orangeman.
Orange lodges will follow in the footsteps of King William as they parade through the historic Co Down village.
Lagan Valley has special significance on the Williamite trail, given King William stopped at the nearby fort on route to the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Seven districts – more than 70 individual lodges – will participate, led by Hillsborough district followed by brethren from Aghalee, Glenavy, Magheragall, Ballinderry, Derriaghy and Lisburn.
Fifty bands and Lambeg drumming parties will lead the parade at 11.30am from Culcavy Road to the demonstration field on Carnreagh Road.
This year’s East Antrim Combine Twelfth takes place in Newtownabbey, involving nine district lodges, with more than 70 private lodges.
Joining Cloughfern, districts are Larne, Randalstown, Staffordstown, Killead, Antrim, Sixmilewater, Carnmoney, and Carrickfergus. The lodges will be joined by 40 bands.
Stepping out for their first Twelfth will be young boys from Cloughfern Junior Williamites.
The main parade starts from Cloughfern Protestant Hall at 11am, proceeding to the field at Valley Leisure Centre. Guest speaker will be North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds, a member of Ulster Volunteers LOL 1216.
Broughshane will play host to this year’s Braid Twelfth – traditionally one of the smallest demonstrations.
Eleven lodges will be accompanied by nine bands and a number of Lambeg drums.
Host lodge, Teenies LOL 635, has the honour of leading the procession this year.
The main parade starts at noon, proceeding to a field on Rathkeel Road for the religious service. Guest speaker will be former DUP MLA Nelson McCausland.
The Grand Master of Scotland, Jim McHarg, will join the 30 Ballymena lodges in the only single town Twelfth demonstration.
Lodges and 15 bands will assemble on Wakehurst Road at 12.30pm and proceed to the People’s Park. This year the honour of hosting the parade belongs to Ferniskey LOL No 115.
Among the platform party will be former grand master of Ireland Robert Saulters. The religious service will be conducted by the Rev Ian McClean, a grand chaplain of Ireland.
Fifty lodges from five districts – Cloughmills, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Rasharkin and Ballymoney – will take part in the North Antrim demonstration.
At the head of the parade will be ‘King William’ on a white horse, followed by Eglish Accordion Band.
The lodges will be headed by 40 bands and four sets of Lambeg drums.
The parade starts at 1pm through the village to the demonstration field on the Ballycregagh Road. Guest speaker will be Ian Wilson, a past grand master of Scotland.
The mid-Co Antrim village plays host to the ‘Triangle’ combine Twelfth with 16 lodges and eight bands taking part. Lambeg drums will form a large part of this demonstration which lodges from Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone districts attend.
Visitors from Scotland are also expected to participate. The main parade commences from Ardnamaine estate at 12.30am, proceeding to the community playing fields.
The Independent Orange Order will holds its Twelfth demonstration in Rasharkin village in northern Antrim.
The Independents are a largely-North Antrim based organisation and 20 lodges, headed by about a dozen bands, will take part. Four districts comprise the Independent Order – Ballymoney, Ballycastle, Rasharkin and Portgleone. The Imperial Grand Master is James Anderson.
The parade will form up in a field on Finvoy Road before proceeding up through the village to the demonstration field on Church Road. Platform proceedings will commence at 2.30pm. The parade will then re-form at 4.30pm.