Scarva Sham Fight cancelled but Royal Black hopeful of smaller summer events

The Scarva Sham Fight, which routinely attracts crowds of up to 100,000 on July 13, has been cancelled for a second year in a row.

Sunday, 6th June 2021, 11:37 am
Up to 100,000 people usually converge on Scarva for the Sham Fight
Up to 100,000 people usually converge on Scarva for the Sham Fight

In announcement on Sunday morning, the Royal Black Institution said the event “cannot be held in a way that would meet with Covid-19 considerations”.

Sovereign Grand Master, Rev William Anderson said: “It is good that our Institution here in Northern Ireland can make a move towards our normal pattern of activities, however, not everything will be able to return to normal immediately.

“The restrictions on numbers that are permitted to be part of an outdoor event will have an impact on our normal programme of services and processions. This means that for this year, to keep the numbers on parade below the current limit of 500 people, some of our events will have to be undertaken at District or local level.

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“The impact also means that the annual procession and Sham Fight in Scarva will not be able to take place this year, but I know that the Sir Knights of RBP 1000 will mark the day in a dignified manner – and they will return in 2022 with a Sham Fight that is bigger and better than ever!”

Regarding other major processions of the Royal Black Institution in Northern Ireland, in particular the traditional Last Saturday demonstrations at the end of August, Rev Anderson said that Central Committee were constantly monitoring the situation and further announcements would be made at the appropriate time.

Following the recent easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland, the Institution’s Central Committee have agreed a set of guidelines that will enable meetings, processions and services to take place.

The guidelines, which have been conveyed to Preceptories, came into effect from June 1.