ANOTHER Twelfth is over and what a glorious Twelfth it was.
Great weather, Orangemen, bandsmen and hundreds of happy families enjoying a good day out.
Coleraine was fantastic; the best Twelfth I have ever attended and believe me I have attended many Twelfths!
The sun shone all day, the crowds were unbelievable, with happy, smiling faces all day, from granny and grandpa down to babies and buggies.
It was just great to be there and to support the months and months of hard work and organization it took to get Coleraine ready for the Twelfth. After so much rain, the field was in great order, somebody somewhere had worked hard to get the field ready for sitting, standing or just running around. All the traders had a good day (I hope). Plenty of tea and scones, hamburgers, ice cream, flags and this and that all on sale at the ‘field’.
No Parades Commission needed or wanted.
The Parades Commission haven’t a titter of wit. Why did they not allow the Ardoyne protesters to protest at 4pm and the Orangemen to return at 7pm after a good ‘day out’? Maybe 4pm was too early for the protesters to decide what could offend them this year?
The Orangemen were all in their Sunday best - suits, shirt, tie, bowlers and white gloves, some had umbrellas.
I have never seen so many handsome, well-dressed men all in the same place at the same time.
The band uniforms were all really smart, great colours, good design and looked very comfortable to wear (not a hoodie in sight!).
If the protesters and distant republicans think they can get rid of the Twelfth, the Orangemen, the bandsmen and all their supporters, they had better think again.
We have survived years of murder, bombing, killing and attempts to eliminate the Protestant community from border homes and farms.
The Twelfth week should be marketed as a tourist attraction. I have been saying this for years. Maybe now with a tourist minister at Stormont, who knows? I live in hope - don’t we all?