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Twelfth: Orangemen stride out in Omagh amid bucketing rain

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Hordes of families lined the streets around Campsie Park, Omagh today, as the town readied itself for its annual Twelfth celebrations.

Inside the park, bagpipers and flute-players assembled alongside an estimated 60 lodges, and at around 12.30pm the tannoy boomed out that the first marchers were to prepare to proceed.

Just as the long procession began to snake off, the heavy grey skies burst over the bands.

As spectators, stewards and markers alike broke out their umbrellas, the procession - led by Castlederg Women’s LOL 202 - strode over the River Drumragh and into the town centre, passing the very spot where the Real IRA had planted the Omagh bomb in 1998.

One of those watching was Free Presbyterian minister Harry Cairns.

At 81, Rev Cairns said he may well don a sash later and join in himself.

“Every year is significant,” he said.

“I suppose when you get older you feel it’s more significant to you; you’re so happy you’ve been spared to enjoy it and be a part of it”.

For full story, see the News Letter on Monday.

 

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