Orange Order makes new bid for ‘Twelfth’ town centre parade

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Orange Order makes new bid for ‘Twelfth’ town centre parade thumbnailThe Orange Order have applied to march through Strabane town centre on July 12.

THE Orange Order has again applied to march through Strabane town centre on July 12.

Strabane District LOL 14 has lodged the bid with the Parading Commission. The local lodge is seeking to parade early morning from the Derry Road to Castle Street, Castle Place up Main Street, down Market Street up Church Street and then on to Bowling Green.

Four bands; John Sayers Memorial Band, Killyclooney Pipe Band, Pride of William Flute Band and Barron Accordion, have been listed among the 100 participants on the application.

Although the application is deemed "under consideration" by the Parades Commission it is almost certain to be dismissed.

Similar applications to parade through the town centre have been made for several years and have always been turned down due to fears it could lead to public disorder if given the go ahead.

In previous years, significant restrictions have been placed on the parade namely that it cannot enter Strabane beyond the War memorial on the Derry Road and a similar ruling is expected when the Commission's determination is issued later this month.

The Parades Commission - Northern Ireland's parading body - in turning down previous requests has also pointed to a lack of "meaningful engagement" between the parades organisers and the local community.

The Commission has described the application as "sensitive" and is due to make a formal decision on Wednesday, June 21.

A separate application by the same lodge for a short 8.30am parade on the same morning from Strabane Presbyterian Church with 50 participants to the War memorial has also been made and is expected to be given the green light.

Meanwhile, the three venues across Tyrone for the annual demonstrations have been confirmed as Beragh, Clogher and Cookstown. Ardstraw man, Edward Stevenson, is the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

"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.

"Surely there is no other event 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 Cookstown demonstration. The senior Orangeman added: "Our proud cultural traditions will once again be on display, and equally apparent, at 18 venues throughout Northern Ireland. 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 Protestant heritage."

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 8.


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