Northern Ireland news

Thousands to attend Twelfth of July demonstrations

Deputy Grand Master Harold Henning launching a leaflet on the Twelfth of July parades ahead of the Open golf tournament in Portrush
Brendan Hughes

TENS of thousands of people are expected to take part in today's annual Twelfth of July demonstrations with major parades being held at 18 venues.

The village of Tandragee in Co Armagh is scheduled to host the biggest gathering with 11 district lodges parading and almost 5,000 brethren.

A large Scottish contingent is expected at the Belfast parade, which will leave Belfast Orange Hall at Carlisle Circus at 10am before making its way to the city centre.

The route was initially revised due to redevelopment works at the Primark site following last year's fire, but the normal route was reinstated after the partial reopening of Royal Avenue.

Rathfriland will host the largest parade in Co Down with 95 lodges and 60 bands taking part in the march.

Co Tyrone's biggest Twelfth parade will be in Pomeroy, with the demonstration moving off at 12.15pm from Tandragee Road and proceeding towards the demonstration field.

Other parades will be held in Lisnaskea in Co Fermanagh; Donemana and Augher in Co Tyrone; and Coleraine and Ballyronan in Co Derry.

There will also be demonstrations in Holywood, Crossgar and Kilkeel in Co Down; and Larne, Glenavy, Carnlough, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Ahoghill in Co Antrim.

Edward Stevenson, grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, said the "significance of Orange traditions will be underlined by the scale of our parades".

The senior Orangeman, who is due to attend the Ballyronan demonstration, said they continue to welcome an "increasing number of international visitors" who are "keen to experience first-hand the spectacle of the biggest day in the parading calendar".

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