Thousands of people have attended the annual Orange march in Co Donegal.
There was good weather for the event at Rossnowlagh, which has grown in size in recent years.
David Mahon, Grand Master of the Donegal Grand Orange Lodge, estimated that between 12,000 and 15,000 people were present this year, of whom around a third were marchers.
In his speech at the Field, on the edge of the beach dunes that border the Atlantic, the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said it was “always a pleasure and a privilege” to return to that coastline for “undoubtedly the most serene and scenic annual Orange demonstration”.
Mr Stevenson said: “The large numbers both participating and lining the route today, many having travelled long distances, confirms the special resonance the Rossnowlagh Twelfth continues to have for the entire Orange fraternity as we celebrate our proud cultural heritage.”
He issued an invitation to the President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, to attend next year’s Rossnowlagh “and witness for himself next year the colour and spectacle of the only Twelfth demonstration in this jurisdiction”.
He added: “The Orange Institution in the Republic continues to thrive, and earlier this year I had the honour of re-opening Ballintra Orange hall following major refurbishment. Such facilities offer a social lifeline, particularly in rural communities, in the border counties and, indeed, are used as meeting places by numerous other organisations and community groups.”
See the attached News Letter video clip of the celebrations.
See also the accompanying website story about Mr Stevenson’s call of an emergency Orange meeting to discuss the Order’s response to controversial Parades Commission determinations.