In pictures: Rathfriland and Ballyclare demonstrations delight crowds

Rathfriland had the largest parade with 106 preceptories and 90 bands comprising 10,000 marchers from 13 Co Down districts.

The small town in the foothills of the Mourne mountains provided a picturesque setting for the parade.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and his son Stephen

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and his son Stephen

Many thousands more lined the streets.

The Co Down demonstration is traditionally noted for the quality of the bands taking part and Saturday’s demonstration was no exception.

Meanwhile in Ballyclare around 3000 members from 79 preceptories took part in the parade from the districts of Larne, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Antrim, Lisburn and the host district of Ballyclare, along with more than 70 bands.

The demonstration was last held in Ballyclare in 2008 and once again the crowds turned out in their thousands to line the streets for the ‘last Saturday’ event.

The Ballyclare District Master this year is local businessman William John Strange, whose own preceptory - Tildarg RBP 1111 - led the procession.