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Richhill the venue as Co Armagh to host ‘largest Twelfth in the world’

Banbridge to stage biggest demonstration in Co Down

Picture: Emma McAnallen

The ‘largest Twelfth parade in the world’ will take place this year in the village of Richhill.

And it is one of 18 demonstrations across Northern Ireland which will be taking place.

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 a total of 154 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 15,000 spectators, including many visitors from across the border.

Approximately 70 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 Richhill District LOL No. 2 to host the celebrations.

The District is one of the smallest within Co Armagh, with six private lodges and over 250 brethren. Notably, the District has the proud distinction of having the largest lodge within the county – Richhill True Blues LOL 665 – with 78 brethren.

The lodges of the host District will assemble at Richhill Orange Hall from 8.30am and joined by County Grand Lodge Officers, will then proceed to the village’s war memorial for a short remembrance service, to commemorate all those who paid the supreme sacrifice in two World Wars and other conflicts, including the Troubles.

From there, the District will parade to Legacorry Road, to meet the first of the visiting Districts who will arrive from 9.30am onwards.

The main parade, led by Battlehill Pipe Band, is to commence at 10am, headed by the County Grand Lodge Officers. Richhill District will be followed by Portadown, Killylea, Keady, Lurgan, Armagh and Markethill Districts. The remaining Districts – Loughgall, Newtownhamilton, Bessbrook and Tandragee – will parade as they arrive, and by 12.45pm, all Districts should be in the demonstration field.

The large procession will commence from the Legacorry Road and proceed via Tandragee Street and Main Street to the demonstration field at Tirnascobe Road.

There will be six new banners on parade this year, namely those for Wesleyan Temperance LOL 161; Derrykeevan Temperance LOL 352; Cavanapole Purple Star LOL 297; Lisnafeedy – Stronge Memorial, Defenders of the Nation LOL 318; Madden LOL 972 and Divernagh Ancient Heroes LOL 77.

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 Edwin Frazer, Armagh District Chaplain and Assistant Minister of Maze Presbyterian Church, who lives in the village. During the proceedings, a collection will be taken up for the South American Mission Society (SAMS).

The return parade is scheduled to leave the demonstration field at 3pm, led by members of Portadown District LOL No 1, and reviewed by County officers.

As part of the pre-Twelfth celebrations a number of events will take place in Richhill, including a ‘Songs of Praise’ in the local Presbyterian Church (29 June); a Tattoo in the village (10 July) and a family fun night in the demonstration field (11 July).

The Richhill demonstration is one of two taking place in this borough.

At Banbridge, aproximately 100 lodges and 70 bands are anticipated to take part in the Twelfth – the largest parade in Co Down.

Orangemen and women of the local District will be joined by their contemporaries from nearby Bann Valley, Lower Iveagh, Rathfriland, Lower Iveagh West, Loughbrickland, Gilford and Newry.

There is expected to be a carnival atmosphere in the large town with organisers expecting in the region of 20,000 people to witness the colour and pageantry of an Orange procession. Lambeg drums and a variety of genres of music will add to the occasion.

The main parade will set off from the assembly field at Banbridge Rugby Club at 12 noon and proceed via Newry Road, Newry Street, Bridge Street, Downshire Road and Huntly Road to the demonstration field at Peggy’s Loaning.

Among those stepping out in their home town will be the members of Banbridge Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423. The lodge recently raised in excess of £35,000 for the 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 Band who are celebrating their 125th anniversary.

Two lodges will have new banners on display, No Surrender LOL 20 and Downshire Guiding Star LOL 123.

The guest speaker will be Henry Dunbar, past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland. The religious service will be conducted by Rev Norman Hutton, chaplain of Newry District.

The return parade is due to commence at approximately 4pm.

Other demonstrations will take place as follows:


The parade to mark the 327th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carlisle Circus, at 10am.

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 Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, Eddie Hyde, 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, George Chittick. The resolutions will be read by Spencer Beattie, Deputy County Grand Master.

The main speaker will be Rev Dr Ron Johnstone, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. The theme of the address will be this year’s 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

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


The County Fermanagh Twelfth is being held in the village of Lisbellaw and is expected to attract large crowds – including many tourists – to the lakeland venue.

Renowned for its relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, the Fermanagh parade traditionally encompasses the entire county and will also play host to visiting lodges from the Republic, representing Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan.

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

This year, due to live television coverage of the event, the main parade will commence at the earlier time of 10.45am.

The procession will be headed by King William on horseback who will be closely followed by the county standards, including the memorial bannerette, bearing the names of 31 members in Co Fermanagh murdered by terrorists, and now carried at the head of every county parade in their honour.

A total of 15 Fermanagh Districts – Enniskillen, Kinawley, Glenawley, Ballinamallard, Lisnarick, Pettigo, Magheraboy, Churchill, Garrison, Tempo, Newtownbutler, Brookeborough, Lisnaskea, Maguiresbridge and the host district, Lisbellaw – will be accompanied by a wide variety of impressive local marching bands, comprising every musical genre.

Lodges and bands will move off from the assembly field, adjacent to the main Belfast Road, and proceed via the same route to the Enniskillen side of Lisbellaw, before making their way through the village prior to returning to the same location for the religious service.

Both Magheraboy and Lisbellaw districts will have new bannerettes on parade, the latter depicting theologian Martin Luther, marking this year’s 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The five junior lodges from the county will also be showcasing their new bannerettes.

Members of Kinawley District also plan to carry a banner once belonging to a now dormant lodge, LOL 384. This lodge’s last recorded meeting was in 1972.

The platform proceedings and religious service will commence at 1.15pm. The formalities will be chaired by County Fermanagh Grand Master Stuart Brooker. The guest speaker will be Rev Alistair Smyth, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

A collection will be taken on the day for North West Mountain Rescue Team, the designated charity this year of County Fermanagh Grand Lodge.

The return parade is due to commence at 2.30pm.

Lisbellaw is hosting its first Twelfth demonstration since 2009.


Orangemen and women will step out on one of the longest and widest main streets in Ireland for the largest Twelfth in Co Tyrone.

Upwards of 70 lodges will be on parade in Cookstown, representing seven districts, and accompanied by approximately 60 bands.

There will be a wide selection of music for people to enjoy with silver bands, accordion, pipe and flute taking part.

Joining local brethren will be members of the Institution from Stewartstown, Coagh, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Benburb and Killyman.

The special guest for the day will be the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, who will be attending a Twelfth parade in his native county.

It will also be a memorable day for the members of Montober Flute Band who are celebrating 100 years since the band’s formation.

Organisers anticipate up to 20,000 spectators will line the two-mile parade route, with many visitors and holidaymakers also expected to sample a Twelfth parade for the first time.

The main parade will start at 12 noon from the Grange Road, proceeding through the town centre to the demonstration field on the Moneymore Road for the religious service.

At the field, there will be the Solus Scottish Dancers and a drumming demonstration by the Mid Ulster Drumming School.

The Grand Master will be the main speaker at the field.


Orangemen and women representing six districts will be on parade in west Tyrone on the biggest day in the Orange calendar.

Several thousand participants are expected to take part in the Twelfth demonstration in the small village of Beragh, famous for its standing stones.

Joining members of Sixmilecross District LOL No 7, will be representatives of up to 60 lodges from neighbouring Omagh, Fintona, Newtownstewart, Killen and Strabane.

Among those on parade will be the County Tyrone Grand Master, Jim Emery.

Members of the Loyal Institution will be accompanied by a large number of pipe bands, which have a traditionally strong base in the area, as well as a selection of flute and accordion outfits.

The parade will leave the assembly field on Cooley Road at 12.30pm and proceed through the village to the demonstration field on the Moylagh Road.

The subsequent religious service will be conducted by Rev Alan Irwin, Deputy Grand Chaplain.


Twenty-five lodges from two districts – Annahoe and Fivemiletown – will be on parade at this year’s Clogher Valley Twelfth.

Maintaining a long-held tradition, members of the Orange Institution from neighbouring Co Monaghan will also be present. Increasing the number of participants from the Republic will be brethren from Violet Hill lodge, who normally attend the Co Fermanagh parade.

Lodges, accompanied by 20 bands, will assemble on the Station Road with the main parade moving off at 12.15pm. It will proceed through the village along Main Street to the demonstration field at Fivemiletown Road.

District officers from both Fivemiletown and Annahoe will be present on the platform for the religious service. The guest speaker will be Rev Maurice Armstrong, a local Church of Ireland minister.

Organisers have specially produced a lodge year book, containing articles from the various lodges on parade and their respective activities over the past 12 months.

Prior to the Twelfth celebrations, a family fun night and barbecue will be held at nearby Roughan on 11 July. Local musicians and highland dancers will perform. There will also be a football challenge match between the Orangemen of the two local districts.

Clogher is hosting the Twelfth for the first time since 2011.


Over 3,000 Orangemen representing upwards of 60 lodges will take part in the Twelfth in Coleraine.

The host district Macosquin will bring the parade to the town for the second time in three years and a huge crowd is expected to enjoy the festivities.

Holidaymakers on the north coast are expected to swell the numbers as they turn out to savour the atmosphere of a Twelfth parade.

As is traditional, members of Macosquin District will be joined by brethren from Coleraine, Londonderry city, Limavady, as well as County Donegal.

Over 50 bands will add to the carnival atmosphere.

On parade will be a new bannerette honouring Orangemen from Co Londonderry who were murdered during the Troubles. Dungiven LOL 2036 will also be carrying their new banner.

Ballarena Faith Defenders LOL 984 and Ballarena Accordion Band are both celebrating their 70th anniversary this year.

The Twelfth parade also takes place following the opening of a new Orange heritage centre in nearby Limavady, documenting the history – and showcasing artefacts – of the Institution in the locality.

The main procession will move off at 12 noon from Union Street and proceed through the town via Railway Road, Kingsgate Street, Long Commons, Beresford Road, Blindgate Street, Dunmore Street, New Row, Church Street, The Cenotaph, The Diamond, Queen’s Street, Circular Road, Old Bridge, Waterside, Castlerock Road, Kings Road and Carthall Road to the field.

At the field, the religious service will commence at 2.30pm. The address will be delivered by Rev John Noble, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. The main speaker will be Samuel Calvin, Deputy County Grand Master of County Londonderry.


Large crowds are expected to converge in Kilrea for the annual South Londonderry demonstration.

The village is hosting the Twelfth for the first time since 2010.

Upwards of 3,000 Orangemen representing eight districts, including hosts Kilrea and Tamlaght O’Crilly, will be joined by neighbouring participants from Moneymore, Magherafelt, Garvagh, Ballyronan, Castledawson and Tobermore. They will be accompanied by approximately 50 bands.

The main parade will move off at 11.30am and will proceed from New Row, via Maghera Street, Fair Hill, Church Street, The Diamond, Bridge Street, Mill Row, Coleraine Street, Maghera Street to the demonstration field at Kilrea mart.

The guest speaker will be Assistant Grand Master, Lewis Singleton.


Thousands of people are expected to attend the Twelfth in North Down, an area 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.

Upwards of 50 lodges – representing Newtownards, Holywood, Upper Ards and Bangor Districts – will be on parade accompanied by a similar number of marching bands.

Bangor District, who will have a new bannerette on display, will leave Hamilton Road Orange hall at 11.30am prior to the main parade. The main procession will proceed from Castle Park Avenue at 12 noon, parading through the seaside town to the demonstration field at Valentine playing fields.

The parade 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, led by William Johnston of Ballykilbeg on July 12 in 1867. The large-scale event was held in opposition to the Party Processions Act.

The guest speaker at the demonstration field will be the Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Rev Mervyn Gibson.


The sight and sounds of a Twelfth parade will return to the Heart of Down this year.

Large crowds are expected to turn out in Ballynahinch to watch the celebrations with almost 70 lodges and 40 bands taking part.

Five districts will be represented – Comber, Saintfield, Lecale, Castlewellan, and Ballynahinch.

The Twelfth is held in Ballynahinch every five years and the crowds will be able to see a wide variety of bands including silver, flute, pipe and accordion.

Those on parade will proceed under an impressive new Orange arch on the town’s main street, opened and dedicated in early July.

The main parade will depart from the High School at 12.15pm and proceed through the town centre via Belfast Road, Main Street, High Street, Church Street, Church Road and Spa Road to the demonstration field.

A religious service will be held at 2pm, where the guest speaker will be Harold Henning, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange of Ireland.


Over 1,000 Orangemen from Mourne District will partake in one of the most scenic Twelfth parades in Northern Ireland.

The magnificent backdrop of the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea provide the perfect setting for probably the most intimate procession.

Fourteen of the 15 lodges will be accompanied by their own bands, adding to the special family atmosphere on the day in the Co Down seaside village.

Among them will be the biggest individual private lodge on parade, with Ballyvea LOL 343a boasting a total of 162 members.

As is tradition, Kilkeel lodges will leave Kilkeel Orange Hall at 10.45am and walk the five-mile route to Annalong. They will meet their fellow brethren at the Valley Road, before the entire District parades through Annalong to the demonstration field. In the village, the procession will walk along the Shore Road, only a few yards from the sea.

A number of new banners will be on display, including a tribute by Aughnahoory Heroes LOL 343b to local war hero, Robert Hill Hanna. The Kilkeel native, a senior soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, received the Victoria Cross for his outstanding bravery during the First World War.

Kilkeel True Blues LOL 1034 recently unfurled their new banner, depicting the town’s harbour.

This year, Glenloughan Loyal Sons of Ulster LOL 1914 are also celebrating the 60th anniversary of the opening of their hall. The building is known for its impressive viewpoint, overlooking Carlingford Lough.

Following refreshments, the religious service is due to commence at 2.15pm. The guest speakers will be Sam Walker, the County Down Grand Master, and Rev Bobbie Stevenson, a Presbyterian minister and member of Mourne District.

The District will leave to commence the homeward parade at 3.30pm.

Annalong is hosting a Twelfth demonstration for the first time since 2013.


Orange lodges will follow in the footsteps of King William as they parade through the historic and quaint village of Hillsborough on the Twelfth.

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.

A total of seven districts – totaling more than 70 individual lodges – will participate in the parade, led by Hillsborough brethren, who will be followed by members from Aghalee, Glenavy, Magheragall, Ballinderry, Derriaghy and Lisburn.

Orangemen, women and juniors will be accompanied by approximately 50 bands for the colourful occasion, which typically attracts a large number of spectators.

The parade will assemble at Sloan’s field and move off at 11.30am via Culcavy Road, Lisburn Road, Lisburn Street, Ballynahinch Street, Ballynahinch Road to the demonstration field on the Carnreagh Road.

The procession will pass under the notable Orange arch which is erected every summer in the village.

Platform proceedings are due to begin at 2pm with the return parade commencing at 4.15pm.


This year’s East Antrim Combine Twelfth takes place in the townland of Cloughfern in Newtownabbey.

The Combine is made up of nine district lodges, with more than 70 private lodges. As well as Cloughfern, the districts are Larne, Randalstown, Staffordstown, Killead, Antrim, Sixmilewater, Carnmoney, and Carrickfergus.

The lodges will be joined by upwards of 40 bands from across Northern Ireland and Scotland, adding to the spectacle of the day.

It is estimated that approximately 4,000 will be on parade with several thousand watching along the route.

Stepping out for their first Twelfth will be young boys from Cloughfern Junior Williamites. Along with their senior counterparts they will be joined by many Orangewomen on parade.

The main parade will leave from Cloughfern Protestant Hall at 11am. The parade will proceed along the Doagh Road, Shore Road, Rathcoole Drive, West Crescent and Church Road to the demonstration field at the Valley Leisure Centre.

The guest speaker will be North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds, also a member of Ulster Volunteers LOL 1216.

Over the course of the day entertainment will be provided by The Demi Walker School of Highland Dance, Carrickfergus Junior Drumming Club and a Gospel Group on the platform.

The return parade is due to commence at 3.30pm.


Broughshane will play host to this year’s Braid Twelfth – traditionally one of the smallest demonstrations on the biggest day in the Orange calendar.

Orange lilies will be more prevalent than ever in the north Antrim village, which is renowned for its success in floral competitions.

A total of 11 lodges will be accompanied by nine bands and a number of Lambeg drums.

Host lodge, Teenies LOL 635, have the honour of leading the procession this year.

The main parade is scheduled to start at 12 noon and those participating will parade from the assembly point on the Tullymore Road, proceeding through the village to Beechvale, before congregating at a field on Rathkeel Road for the religious service.

The guest speaker will be Nelson McCausland.


The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, Jim McHarg, will join the 30 lodges from the district as they take part in the annual Twelfth in Ballymena.

The town is the only one in Northern Ireland which has a Twelfth demonstration every year.

The lodges and around 15 bands will assemble on the Wakehurst Road at 12.30pm and proceed to the demonstration field at the People’s Park via Larne Road, Larne Street, Harryville Bridge, Waveney Road, Galgorm Road, Pentagon, Lower Mill Street, Wellington Street, Ballymoney Street, William Street, Broughshane Street, Parkway and Ballymoney Road.

This year the honour of hosting the parade belongs to the members of Ferniskey LOL 115.

Among the platform party at the field will be the Past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Robert Saulters, along with district officers and officers from the host lodge.

Mr McHarg will address the assembled crowd.

The religious service will be conducted by Rev Ian McClean, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.


Approximately 50 lodges from five districts – Cloughmills, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Rasharkin and Ballymoney – will take part in the North Antrim demonstration which is being held in Cloughmills this year.

At the head of the parade will be King William on a white horse, followed by Eglish Accordion Band leading the members of Cloughmills district.

There will be a rich variety of music on parade, incorporating over 40 bands and four sets of Lambeg drums.

The parade will assemble on Drumadoon Road and set off at 1pm through the village to the demonstration field on the Ballycregagh Road.

There, a religious service will be held at 2.30pm where the guest speaker will be Ian Wilson, a past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland. The district master, Ivan Atcheson, will read the resolutions. The service will be led by Rev David McLoughlin.

Provision for families, including bouncy castles and other entertainment, will be available at the field.

The Twelfth is held in Cloughmills every five years and a large crowd is expected at the small North Antrim venue.


The small village of Cullybackey will resonate to the distinctive and unique sound of the Lambeg drum for this year’s Triangle combine parade.

The Co Antrim village, outside Ballymena, is expected to play host to the largest contingent of the acoustic instrument on parade throughout the Province, with impromptu drumming sessions adding to the carnival atmosphere.

A total of 16 lodges – accompanied by eight bands – will take part in the close-knit demonstration, which is held on other years in Ahoghill and Portglenone. Visitors from Scotland are also expected to participate.

The main parade is due to commence from Ardnamaine Housing Estate at 12.30pm and proceed via Station Road, Main Street, Shellinghill Road and Kilmakevitt Square to the Community Centre playing fields.

The main address will be delivered by Orangewoman Janet Simpson.

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