Twelfth parades to take place in five different locations

Twelfth parades to take place in five different locations

9 June 2021

TWELFTH parades are set to be held across the district this year, the Down Recorder reveal.

However, there will be no traditional gathering of Orangemen from the Lecale, Castlewellan, Ballynahinch, Saintfield and Comber districts in the one town.

It is undersood that parades will take place in Killyleagh, Ballynahinch, Saintfield, Dundrum and Comber.

The traditional parades — the highlight of the marching calendar — were cancelled last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has confirmed a return to parading this year after discussions with Stormont health minister Robin Swann and his officials.

As there are no traditional county or combined District Twelfth parades in an effort to reduce large gatherings, events will be primarily localised in each area, rather than the traditional large-scale marches.

And, as is normal practice, any parade must be given the green light from the Northern Ireland Parades Commission before it can take place.

The Lecale District parade will be hosted by Killyleagh, with brethren and bands due to meet at the Showgrounds at the Comber Road on the outskirts of the town.

The parade will make its way to Frederick Street and will pause at the war memorial at Killyleagh Castle for a short wreath-laying ceremony.

Orangemen and bands will then make their way along Castle Lane into Plantation Street before emerging onto Catherine Street. It’s then into Irish Street, along Seaview, up Shore Street and High Street before returning to the Comber Road via Frederick Street.

Local Orange Order officials have confirmed that Dundrum will host the Castlewellan District parade and that all local parades must start between 11am and 12.30pm. 

There will be no speeches with Orangemen and bandsmen dispersing at the conclusion of their respective parades.

Speaking about this year’s Twelfth celebrations, Orange Order grand master Edward Stevenson said localised parades will be held in accordance with health regulations.

“As an institution we have had to make great sacrifice over the past 12 months and more, but we are now in a better place and our parades can take place, albeit in a slightly different format to a normal year,” he said.

“This year we will have smaller local parades, so it will be a Twelfth near home for most members. This is a positive step towards a return to our normal full parades – hopefully in 2022.”

Mr Stevenson said the regulations at this time do not permit the huge numbers many of the Order’s normal demonstrations would attract.

He added: “The Orange family has played an important part in our community’s fight against Covid-19. Unlike others in our society, we have sought to show responsible civic leadership and it important that we continue to do so to protect the health of not just our own members but the entire community.

“While the events may be smaller than usual, it will be good to get back on the road with our fellow Brethren, our bands and with the support of the entire Orange family.”

The full list of scheduled parades due to take place on July 12 can be found on the Parades Commission website.