Retro: ‘The British government has neither the will nor courage to defeat the IRA’ (1993)

Close to 100,000 Orangemen, women and musicians took to the streets for the annual Twelfth demonstrations in 1993.

More than 30,000 spectators helped turn the Twelfth Parade at Bangor into one of the most successful in recent years, reported the News Letter in July 1993.

The crowds stood 20 deep along the seafront as more than 4,000 Orangmen and their bands from Bangor, Holywood; Newtownards and Upper Ards walked.

It took almost two hours for the demonstration to pass through the town centre on its way to the Valentine Playing Field.

Cullybackey

The 17 lodges of the Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone districts attended yesterday's Triangle Twelfth parade in Co Antrim.

Guest speaker at the field outside the village of Cullybackey, was Fivemiletown Presbyterian minister the Reverend Thomas Greer who said the British government “had neither the will nor courage to defeat the IRA”.

He said: “It should be quite clear that to trust in the might of the British government to deal with this enemy is folly.”

He added, however, that it was “equally foolish to trust the Godless hooligans and gunmen of the UDA and UVF and to contemplate talks with Sinn Fein and the IRA”.

Dungannon

More than 7,000 Orangemen paraded through the streets of Dungannon in brilliant sunshine watched by thousands of spectators along the two-mile route. Seventy lodges, accompanied by as many bands from South and East Tyrone, assembled at Dungannon Park before marching to the demonstration field in Dobson Park on the outskirts of the town.

The speaker at the religious service was the Reverend W Dunn, from Donaghey Congregational Church.

Taking part in the procession were Orangemen from Stewartstown, Cookstown, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Coagh, Benburb and Killyman districts.

Enniskillen

Sixty-two bands and about 80 lodges marched in bright sunshine at Enniskillen. About one-third came over the Border from Eire to join in the one-hour long procession through the island town to Rossorry.

The County Grand Master Mr Eddie Elliott walked at the head of the parade, which included a number of women's lodges, accompanied by Viscount Brookeborough, whose grandfather's portrait was on one of the banners, and the other county officers. Many thousands watched the procession through the decorated two streets.

Afterwards, several thousand gathered on a hillside for the religious meeting during which the Reverend Edwin Colvin, retired Methodist minister from Portadown, gave a warning that there was danger of TV taking over in family life so that parents seldom spoke to their children.

Killyleagh

Sixty-four lodges from five Mid-Down districts paraded in Killyleagh for the first time in 15 years.

A wreath was laid at the town's War Memorial and a short religious service was held later at the Field. It was conducted by the Reverend John Dickinson, Lecale District Chaplain. The address was given by the Reverend William Frame, Deputy Grand Chaplain.

The bunting was to remain in place in the town for a second major event in the loyalist marching calendar — Killyleagh was to play host to Belfast Royal Black Institution on the Last Saturday parade in August.

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