Thousands celebrate the Twelfth in Northern Ireland

Hundreds of parades will take place across Northern Ireland today as thousands celebrate the Twelfth of July - and we will have live updates here throughout the day.

On Monday night, around 250 bonfires were lit in loyalist communities across the region to usher in the main date in the parading calendar.

The Twelfth parades, which are organised by the Orange Order, commemorate the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The battle, which unfolded at the Boyne river north of Dublin, saw Protestant King William of Orange defeat Catholic King James II to secure a Protestant line of succession to the British Crown.

On July 12, there will be 573 loyal order parades. Of these, 33 follow routes that are deemed to be sensitive.

The Orange Order is anticipating around half a million people will attend the annual Twelfth of July celebrations across Northern Ireland.

Belfast, Armagh and Newry will each host large demonstrations as the Orange Institution returns to its traditional celebrations for 2022.

This year will mark a return to traditional parading after two years of alternative celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eighteen venues in Northern Ireland will play host to processions to mark the 332nd anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

In Belfast, the Orange Order's County Grand Master, Spencer Beattie, said around 10,000 order members and bandsmen and women will take part in the capital.

"In 2020, we were cancelled because of Covid, so this is the first time back on the street in our full parade," he told the PA news agency.

"We've had various smaller parades over the last couple of years reduced down because of Covid, but it's great to be back in full swing again. Hopefully, the day will be a celebration for everybody getting back out on to the street and enjoying the day."



12th July celebrations in Ballymena Co Antrim. Ballee flute band on parade. Credit: Pacemaker


Bands and Orange men make their way through Belfast City Centre Credit: Presseye
Members of Pride of Ardoyne in Belfast Credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images
Members of Pride of Ardoyne in Belfast Credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images
Members of Pride of Ardoyne in Belfast Credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images


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