Hyper local Orange parades to go ahead

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

The 331st anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will be marked at around 100 locations on Monday, the 12th of July, in what is one of the major highlights of Northern Ireland’s Centennial year.

With less than two weeks to go, The Orange Institution has confirmed that the public will be able to enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of the Twelfth of July demonstrations closer to home as localised parades are set to take centre stage.

Local parades will take place in:-

Ahoghill 11.30am Ahoghill District LOL No. 12 7 2

Ballymena 12noon Ballymena District LOL No 8 27 16

Broughshane 12noon Braid District LOL No 18 11 11

Cullybackey 12.30pm Cullybackey District LOL No. 20 4 10

Portglenone 11.15am Portglenone District LOL No 7

For 2021, the normal 18 main demonstrations have been replaced by more than 100 local parades as the Orange Family continues to play a positive role in the fight against Covid-19.

Over the last 18 months, lodges, bands and their friends and family have worked throughout local communities to support the NHS and key workers, help those living in isolation and ensure the spread of Covid-19 was curtailed as best as possible.

With the current Covid-19 health guidelines limiting events to 500 participants, organising smaller parades was the best way to ensure the demonstrations went ahead.

Confirming this year’s plans, Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson said he was certain all members of the Orange Family would be delighted to be parading in Northern Ireland’s Centenary year.

“We have endured a difficult 18 months, having cancelled our meetings and parades, for the good of all in the community,” he said.

“Last year it was the ‘Twelfth at Home’ but thankfully this year, with the restrictions suitably eased, we are in a position to have District parades right across Northern Ireland.

“These smaller demonstrations will help reduce crowds, remove the need for travelling long distances to see a parade and ensure that we as an Institution continue to put the safety of everyone to the fore.

“This is for one year only and we are focussed on having our traditional Twelfth of July celebrations in 2022.”

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland is calling on everyone planning to attend a parade to respect the Covid-19 guidelines.

Spectators are advised to choose one parade to attend, avoid standing in crowds or walking alongside the parade, and be sure to wear face coverings when appropriate.

The Grand Master added: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Twelfth of July and the best way to do that is to look after yourself and others by respecting the health advice.”

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