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Twelfth 2018

The birthplace of Orangeism will host the largest Twelfth of July demonstration this summer, it has been confirmed.

The conservation village of Loughgall will be one of 17 venues across Northern Ireland holding processions to mark the 328th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Preparations are at an advanced stage for the biggest day in the parading calendar, with upwards of an estimated half-a-million people expected to participate or spectate in what is widely regarded as one of the largest annual festivals in Europe.

Thousands of Orangemen, women and juniors – accompanied by over 600 marching bands – will step out at the various locations with much pageantry, colour and heritage on display.

The traditional sight and sound of Lambeg drums will add to the festivities in Co Armagh. The parade will pass the Museum of Orange Heritage at Sloan’s House, where the Orange Institution was founded in 1795 following the Battle of the Diamond, located on the outskirts of Loughgall.

A large Scottish contingent is expected in Belfast, as the city hosts the longest Twelfth parade on the day, with participants walking over six miles to the field. The capital and Ballymena are the only venues where Twelfth demonstrations occur annually.

Other significant parades will take place in Londonderry, Brookeborough (Fermanagh), Ballyclare (Antrim), Donaghcloney (Down) and Stewartstown (Tyrone).

Meanwhile, breaking with tradition, over 1,000 Orangemen from Mourne District will join their neighbouring brethren at the Newcastle demonstration.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, hailed the enhanced cultural experience offered by the yearly celebrations.

“The Twelfth of July offers a unique opportunity for the Orange Institution and the bands community to showcase our culture and heritage, and we are confident of welcoming increasing numbers of visitors, tourists and families to all of our parades,” he said.

“There are very few events on these islands that can bring such vast numbers of people onto the streets, either by taking part or simply to watch the music and pageantry.”

Mr Stevenson will be in attendance at the Castlederg demonstration.

The senior Orangeman added: “The Twelfth is truly a day like no other as we celebrate much that is important to the Reformed faith, our civil and religious liberties and our British heritage. Our proud cultural traditions will once again be on display at 17 venues throughout Northern Ireland.”

The Twelfth demonstrations will follow the traditional Rossnowlagh parade held in the Republic on the preceding weekend. This year the annual Donegal procession takes place on Saturday July 7.


The rolling hills of County Donegal and a magnificent coastline provide the backdrop to what must surely be the most attractive setting for any Twelfth parade.

The annual Rossnowlagh procession, will be held on Saturday, July 7, five days before the demonstrations in Northern Ireland.

Upwards of 50 lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orangemen from Northern Ireland, and further afield, will take part in the parade which begins close to St. John’s Parish Church at 12 noon.

The parade then makes its way down a narrow country road, thronged with onlookers, to the demonstration field, on the edge of the shoreline. The annual gathering is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and minimal security presence.

A religious service, only yards from the rolling breakers of the Atlantic, will be held at 3pm. The service will be conducted by the local Church of Ireland minister, Canon Brian Russell.

The guest speaker will be Wallace Thompson, secretary of the Evangelical Protestant Society. Also, on the platform will be senior Orangemen from the Republic, including County Donegal Grand Master David Mahon.

The service will incorporate an Act of Remembrance to remember those Orangemen, and others, from across the British Isles and beyond, who paid the supreme sacrifice during the First World War.

Orangeism remains vibrant in the border counties and there are 40 Orange halls in the Republic. Newtowncunningham Orange hall is due to re-open later this year after being destroyed in an arson attack in 2014.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met a delegation of Orangemen from the Republic during his recent visit to Orange headquarters in Belfast.

The self-proclaimed ‘largest Twelfth parade in the world’ will take place this year in the conservation village of Loughgall.

The County Armagh Twelfth demonstration is firmly regarded as the most major gathering of Orangemen on the day and encompasses the full range of the Orange family.

A total of 11 District lodges will be on parade, with over 150 private lodges and upwards of 5,000 brethren. In addition, ladies from the Women’s Institution will be stepping out, along with several Junior lodges. County Armagh Grand Orange Lodge has had a significant increase in membership over the past year and many brethren will be on parade for the first time. The Armagh demonstration usually attracts upwards of 20,000 spectators, including many visitors from across the border.

Approximately 65 bands, including a small number from Scotland, will accompany the lodges - with some of the finest pipe, accordion, silver and flute bands in the Province on parade. Also, as the ‘County of the Diamond’ is renowned for the Lambeg drum, dozens of the traditional instrument are anticipated to add much sound to the occasion.

The County Armagh Twelfth rotates around the Districts in an 11-year cycle and this year it is the turn of Loughgall District LOL No. 3 to host the celebrations. The District is one of the most geographically widespread within the county, with 22 private lodges and over 700 members; the District area stretches from just outside Armagh City into Co Tyrone.

The District has the distinction of having the Diamond area within its boundaries, the scene of the famous Battle of the Diamond on September 21 1795. The parade will also pass the Museum of Orange Heritage at Sloan’s House, where the first Orange warrants were signed after the battle.

The lodges of the host District will assemble at McDowell’s Hill on the Armagh side of the village from 9am and joined by County Grand Lodge Officers, will then proceed to the War Memorial close to the Parish Church for a short Act of Remembrance and wreath-laying, to commemorate all those who paid the supreme sacrifice in Two World Wars and other conflicts, including the Troubles. The District will then await the first of the visiting Districts who will arrive from 9.15am onwards.

The main parade, led by Drumderg Loyalists Flute Band, Keady, is to commence at 9.30am, headed by the County Grand Lodge Officers. Loughgall District will be followed by Richhill, Killylea, Lurgan, Newtownhamilton and Portadown Districts; the remainder of the Districts, namely, Armagh, Markethill, Keady, Bessbrook and Tandragee will parade as they arrive, and by 12.45pm, all Districts should be in the demonstration field.

The large and colourful procession will proceed through the historic village to the demonstration field on the Portadown Road for the religious service.

There will be at least two new banners having their first outing on the Twelfth this year, namely those of Derrykeevan Temperance LOL 352, Portadown District; and Derrycorry Purple Guards Temperance LOL 52 from the host District.

The chair will be taken at 1.45pm by the County Grand Master, Denis Watson, and proceedings will commence with the traditional religious service, conducted by Rev Dr Alan McCann, County Grand Chaplain. The main address will be given by Rev William Anderson, Loughgall District Chaplain. During the proceedings, a collection will be taken up for the Newry Hospice and Drew Nelson Legacy Project.

The return parade is scheduled to commence at 3pm, with Killylea District LOL No 7 being the first to leave. County Officers will review the parade at Loughgall District Orange Hall.

As part of the pre-Twelfth celebrations a number of events will take place in the village, including a ‘Songs of Praise’ in the local Parish Church (5 July) and a family fun night in Loughgall Country Park (11 July), incorporating music, a vintage vehicle cavalcade and fireworks.

To mark the Twelfth in Loughgall, the District has produced a special souvenir booklet and commemorative jewel to mark the entenary of the Armistice.

The parade to mark the 328th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in the capital city will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carlisle Circus, at 10am.

As is tradition, the Millar Memorial Flute band will lead the parade as it makes its way along Clifton Street, Donegal Street, Royal Avenue, Castle Junction and Donegall Place to Belfast City Hall.

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall shortly before 10.30am and the parade will then proceed via Donegal Square West, Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftsbury Square, Bradbury Place, Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue and Malone Road to Barnett’s Demense.

Orangemen and women representing a total of nine districts – accompanied by approximately 60 bands – will walk the six-mile route, traditionally the longest of all the Twelfth demonstrations.

As usual, thousands of spectators including visitors from other countries are expected to line much of the route through the capital city. Most notable will be the large Scottish contingent who always travel to Belfast to both participate in and spectate at the procession. Among those taking part will be the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, Jim McHarg, and over 20 bands.

The platform proceedings at Barnett’s Demesne will begin at 3pm and the chairman for the afternoon will be the County Grand Master, Spencer Beattie.

Mr McHarg will be the guest speaker.

The return parade is due to leave the field and proceed towards the city centre at 4.15pm.

The Co Fermanagh demonstration will take place in the village of Brookeborough this year.

Large crowds are expected to be in attendance, including many tourists and visitors to the lakeland county.

The Fermanagh parade traditionally encompasses the entire county and will again play host to visiting lodges from the Republic, representing Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan.

Southern brethren will join with upwards of 90 private lodges, members of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen, Juniors, and approximately 70 bands in one of the larger demonstrations across the Province.

Lodges and bands will move off from the assembly field on the Lisnaskea Road at 11.30am and proceed through the village to the demonstration field on the A4 Belfast Road.

Two lodges, Rosslea LOL 173 and Crom Castle LOL 1219, will have new banners on parade.

The platform proceedings and religious service will commence at 1.30pm. The formalities will be chaired by County Fermanagh Grand Master Stuart Brooker. The guest speaker will be Rev Dr Alan McCann, County Armagh Grand Chaplain.

A collection will be taken on the day for the South East Fermanagh Foundation, the designated charity this year of County Fermanagh Grand Lodge.

The Brookeborough demonstration takes place following the recent opening of a special exhibition at the Enniskillen Castle museum highlighting the county’s Orange heritage. ‘From Grey to Orange: The Story of Fermanagh Orangeism’ focuses on the origins of Orangeism in the county, as well as giving prominence to local stories and personalities associated with the Loyal Order. A number of notable artefacts are also on public display. The exhibition runs until September 2.

The return parade is due to commence at 2.45pm.

Brookeborough is hosting its first Twelfth demonstration since 2010.

The largest Twelfth parade in Tyrone will take place in one of the county’s smallest villages.

Orangemen and women from seven districts will step out in Stewartstown; representing the host district as well as Killyman, Cookstown, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Coagh and Benburb. The Twelfth was last held in the Mid Ulster village seven years ago.

Upwards of 70 lodges and approximately 50 bands – silver, accordion, pipe and flute – will participate in the annual gathering.

Stewartstown District Lodge will have on public display a special bannerette, recently dedicated to commemorate Orangemen from the locality who served in the First World War. Later in the year, it will be 'laid-up' in one of the local halls as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifice that the brethren from the District made.

Members of Syerla LOL 509, from neighbouring Benburb District, will also have their new banner on parade.

The main parade will commence at 12.15pm from the assembly field on the Coagh Road. From there, it will proceed via North Street, The Square, Hillhead and on to the demonstration field on the Coalisland Road.

The religious service will incorporate a drumhead service where the proceedings will be conducted by the District Chaplain, Rev Robert Boyd. The resolutions will be proposed by Deputy County Grand Master, Robert Abernethy.

Stewartstown & District Cultural Committee have organised a cultural display at the field. As well as entertainment provided by Newmills Silver Band, Lambeg drumming and traditional music; junior lodge members will also perform a tribute reenactment of soldiers returning from the Great War.

A commemorative badge has been struck as collector’s item for the big day.

The most senior Orangeman in Ireland will be the guest speaker at the Twelfth in Castlederg. It will be something of a local Twelfth for Grand Master Edward Stevenson, who lives close to the town.

Six districts - Sixmilecross, Strabane, Fintona, Omagh, Killen and Newtownstewart – will be on parade in the west Tyrone town.

Fifty-six lodges and about 50 bands will assemble at Mitchell Park on the Lower Strabane Road and head off, at 12.30pm, via Upper Strabane Road, William Street, John Street, Main Street and along the Castlegore Road to the demonstration field.

This is a part of the Province where there is a strong piping tradition and pipe bands will provide most of the music, although there will be some flute and accordion bands as well.

The parade will have a different element with highland dancers from the locality performing at the head of the procession.

Local lodge Kilclean LOL 773 will also have a new banner on display, having only being unfurled for the first time only days before the Twelfth.

The religious service – which will commence at 2.30pm – will be conducted by local minister, Rev David Reid, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

Among the platform party will be past County Tyrone Grand Master, Jim Emery, and visiting Orangeman, Rev Jason Lingiah, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.

The return parade will leave the field at 4.30pm.

The most intimate Twelfth parade in Co Tyrone will take place in the village of Ballygawley, which this year hosts the annual Clogher Valley demonstration.

The procession will once again have a cross-border element, as is tradition, with brethren from Monaghan walking with local lodges on the big day.

Among the approximate 20 lodges representing three districts – Annahoe, Fivemiletown and Truagh – will be a number of Orangewomen as well as Junior members of the Institution.

The Clogher Valley parade is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and the wide variety of bands - pipe, silver, accordion and flute - all adding much sound to proceedings.

Parade participants will assemble in the vicinity of Ballygawley Presbyterian Church at 12.15pm and proceed through the village to the new demonstration field on the Old Dungannon Road.

The guest speaker during the religious service will be Rev Trevor Boyd, chaplain of Pomeroy District. Among the senior Orangemen in attendance will be County Tyrone Grand Master, Perry Reid.

Organisers of the Clogher Valley Twelfth have produced a brochure to mark the centenary of Armistice, which focuses on local heroism in the days leading up to the end of the Great War.

The maiden city will host a Twelfth parade for the first time in five years as members of the Orange Institution step out in the north-west.

Thousands of spectators are expected to enjoy the festivities with the numbers watching swelled by holidaymakers staying on the north coast, seeking to witness the spectacle of an Orange parade in the historic city.

Approximately 60 lodges representing the districts of City of Londonderry, Raphoe (Co Donegal), Coleraine, Limavady, Macosquin and Claudy will participate in the main demonstration. Members of the Ladies Association and Junior lodges will also take part in the parade. They will be accompanied by over 40 bands.

The main parade will move off from Glendermott Road at 11.30am, proceeding to Clooney Terrace, Spencer Road, Craigavon Bridge, Carlisle Road, Ferryquay Street, The Diamond, Bishop Street, London Street, Hawkin Street, Kennedy Place, Kennedy Street, Wapping Lane, Craigavon Bridge, Spencer Road, Clooney Terrace, Glendermott Road, Bonds Street, May Street and Limavady Road to the field at Wilton Park.

The platform proceedings will be chaired by the City Grand Master, Maurice Devenney, and County Londonderry Grand Master, Samuel Calvin, will also be in attendance. The religious service will be conducted by Rev John Noble, an Orange Order Grand Chaplain, and Rev Mervyn Lindsay will give the address.

The return parade is due to commence at 4.15pm.

In 2013, Londonderry hosted a flagship Twelfth parade as part of its year-long UK city of culture celebrations.

Large crowds are expected to converge on the village of Garvagh for the annual south Londonderry demonstration.

There will be a total of eight districts on parade – Garvagh, Castledawson, Magherafelt, Kilrea, Ballyronan, Tamlaght O’Crilly, Moneymore and Tobermore.

Up to 60 bands will join with 2,000 Orangemen in the main parade, which moves off at 12 noon. All districts will assemble at Ballynameen Avenue and parade through the village via Kuirn Road, Upper Main Street, Lower Main Street and Coleraine Road to the demonstration field.

The day will have a special significance for one local Orangeman and flautist, David McAleese, who will be playing with Caheney Flute Band for the 75th consecutive year – having never missed a Twelfth!

Platform proceedings are due to get underway at 2pm and will be chaired by County Londonderry Deputy Grand Master, James Evans. The religious service will be led by Rev Joseph Andrews, County Chaplain.

Derek Reaney, an Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, will be the guest speaker.

The field collection will be in aid of Garvagh District Cancer Research Committee, which has in the past has raised in excess of £200,000 for cancer research.

Orangemen from as far away as Australia will be among those taking part in the North Down Twelfth celebrations in Newtownards.

Brethren from Charlie Sands Memorial LOL 500, based in the south of the country, will join with over 40 lodges from four districts – Newtownards, Upper Ards, Hollywood and Bangor – stepping out under the shadow of local landmark, the Scrabo Tower.

They will be accompanied by members of the Institution from across the UK, Orangewomen and juniors – along with over 30 marching bands.

This year’s parade will be led by Loughries True Blues LOL 1948, together with William Strain William Lightbody Memorial Flute band, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary. The lodge will carry a bannerette in memory of former members who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. To mark the Armistice centenary, a number of Orangemen will also be in period dress.

The main procession is due to commence at 11.30am and will proceed through the town via Mary Street, Marquis Street, Talbot Street, Upper North Street, North Street, Frances Street, Zion Place, Georges Street, Portaferry Road, Court Square, Court Street, Old Cross Street, High Street, Mill Street, Frederick Street, Regent Street, Frances Street, Zion Place, Georges Street, Upper Movilla Street, Queen Street, Upper Greenwell Street, Georges Street, Portaferry Road and into the demonstration field at Londonderry Park.

The main address at the field will be delivered by Rev Ron Johnstone, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

The Twelfth was last held in Newtownards in 2014.

The south Down seaside venue of Newcastle will play host to a special Twelfth parade this year.

In a break from tradition, Orangemen and bands from Mourne District will join with their peers from Castlewellan, Ballynahinch, Lecale, Saintfield and Comber.

Over 6,000 members of the Orange Institution, and approximately 70 bands, will step out in the vicinity of the Newcastle promenade, with the picturesque Mourne Mountains offering a stunning backdrop for this unique parade.

Numbers will be swelled with the participation of the biggest individual private lodge, with Ballyvea LOL 343a boasting in excess of 160 members. Orangemen from Coventry, England, will also take part.

Thousands of spectators are expected to throng the town’s seafront, taking in the spectacle and family-friendly nature of the event. Among them will be many tourists and holidaymakers, staying in nearby caravan parks.

The main parade will commence at 12 noon from Donard Park, with lodges and bands proceeding the two-mile route through the town via Bryansford Road, Railway Street and Main Street before returning to Donard Park for the religious service.

Among the senior Orangemen in attendance will be the Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Rev Mervyn Gibson, who will deliver the address at the field.

The special guest on the day will be British mezzo-soprano, Emma Brown, who will perform during the platform proceedings. The solo performer has sung at remembrance ceremonies for various organisations across Europe, including the Royal British Legion. Members of host district, Castlewellan, will visit the Somme prior to Twelfth to lay wreaths and flowers at graves of members who died during the First World War.

Newcastle last hosted a Twelfth parade in 2008.

The small village of Donaghcloney will host its first Twelfth demonstration in 32 years.

Upwards of 100 lodges, accompanied by around 80 bands, will take part in the procession - watched by thousands of spectators - in what is expected to be the largest Twelfth in Co Down.

Orangemen and women of host district, Lower Iveagh West, will be joined by their contemporaries from nearby Banbridge, Bann Valley, Lower Iveagh, Rathfriland, Loughbrickland, Gilford and Newry.

The significant parade will mark the culmination of the ‘Cloney Festival’, incorporating a series of events and activities over five days in the lead-up to the Twelfth. Festival activities include an Armistice exhibition, songs of praise, family entertainment and fireworks.

The festival will incorporate the opening of a new Orange arch, which will take pride of place in the village on the Twelfth. The arch will feature a memorial to those members of the Orange Institution murdered during the Troubles.

The main parade will set off from the assembly field at Moygannon Road at 12 noon and proceed through the village to the demonstration field