Randalstown Twelfth: Brethren turn out in force to pay tribute to Somme dead

Ashleigh McGrugan and Denise Lavery smile for the camera
Ashleigh McGrugan and Denise Lavery smile for the camera

Orange Order brethren from districts across East Antrim travelled to Randalstown yesterday for the annual parade.

Thousands of people lined the streets for the Twelfth demonstration, which this year had special significance, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Members of Doagh Road True Blues LOL No 1871

Members of Doagh Road True Blues LOL No 1871

Hosts Staffordstown District No 15 were delighted to welcome brethren, bandsmen and supporters to this year’s parade.

Worshipful District Master Darren Richardson said: “Our main objective was to celebrate two significant anniversaries, the more significant in our calendar being the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, where so many brethren and indeed ordinary folk from Northern Ireland lost their lives.

“Every year we have the Battle of the Boyne celebrations, but this year we wanted to do an outreach programme to the people in Randalstown.

“This was successfully launched in May in local schools as well as educational visits to Conlig.

LOL No 1544 members, Nigel Irvine and John McNeill

LOL No 1544 members, Nigel Irvine and John McNeill

“This year we’re proud to be supporting Chest, Heart and Stroke and we will have collection points around the town throughout the day.

“The charity is very close to our hearts in Staffordstown District. I hope that the weather stays good and that everyone has an enjoyable day in Randalstown.”

The other districts taking part in the parade were Carnmoney District No 25, Cloughfern District No 24, Sixmilewater District No 10 Randalstown No 22, Larne No 1, Antrim No 13, Killead No 17 and Carrickfergus No 19.

There were 68 lodges in total, with over 60 bands taking part in the procession.

Members of Bennetts Chosen Few LOL No 553 Carrickfergus.

Members of Bennetts Chosen Few LOL No 553 Carrickfergus.

This was the first time the Twelfth had been held in Randalstown since 2011 and the first time Staffordstown District had hosted the parade since 2006.

Traditional aspects were maintained, with a number of Lambeg drummers taking part in the parade. The crowds were also entertained by music from flute bands, pipe bands and accordion bands.

It is believe that a fight broke out during the return leg of the event, resulting in the parade being delayed for a short time. Superintendent Emma Bond said: “Police are aware of a minor disturbance. Two men have been treated for cuts at the scene. Inquiries into the matter are ongoing.”

Father and son, Denis and Scott McKenzie from Carnmoney LOL No 537. INLT 28-002-PSB

Father and son, Denis and Scott McKenzie from Carnmoney LOL No 537. INLT 28-002-PSB

Tommy Campbell (right) pictured with Grandson, Jedd Gould, both members of LOL No 553. INLT 28-007-PSB

Tommy Campbell (right) pictured with Grandson, Jedd Gould, both members of LOL No 553. INLT 28-007-PSB

Members of Doagh Road True Blues LOL No 1871. INLT 28-003-PSB

Members of Doagh Road True Blues LOL No 1871. INLT 28-003-PSB

Members of LOL No 787 Carrickfergus. INLT 28-011-PSB

Members of LOL No 787 Carrickfergus. INLT 28-011-PSB

Aaron Anderson (left) with Eden and Philip Douglas. INLT 28-017-PSB

Aaron Anderson (left) with Eden and Philip Douglas. INLT 28-017-PSB

Members of Islandmagee LOL No 1962 pictured at the Twelfth demonstration in Randlestown. INLT 28-001-PSB

Members of Islandmagee LOL No 1962 pictured at the Twelfth demonstration in Randlestown. INLT 28-001-PSB