The rolling hills of County Donegal and a spectacular coastline provide the backdrop to what must surely be the most attractive setting for any Twelfth parade.
The annual Twelfth parade in Rossnowlagh takes place tomorrow (SAT) – four days before the traditional demonstrations in Northern Ireland.
Around 50 lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orangemen and women, will take part in the parade which begins close to St. John’s Parish Church at 12 noon.
The parade then makes its way down a narrow country road, thronged with onlookers, to the demonstration field, on the edge of the shoreline.
A religious service, only yards from the rolling breakers of the Atlantic, will be held at 3pm.
The sermon will be delivered by Robert Campbell, County Antrim Deputy Grand Chaplain. The main speaker will be Stuart Brooker, Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Proceedings will be chaired by the County Donegal Grand Master, David Mahon.
The Twelfth in Donegal has been held in Rossnowlagh since the 1900s and has taken place there every year since 1978. It is traditional to hold the parade on the Saturday before the main Twelfth parades, meaning lodges in the Irish Republic can attend the Twelfth demonstrations in Northern Ireland.
Among the many lodges stepping out will be Newtowncunningham LOL 1063, who will be carrying their new banner for the first time, having been dedicated earlier this week. The banner pays tribute to the founding members of the lodge who served during the First World War. A new bannerette of Revival in Ireland Memorial LOL 1859 will also be on display during the Rossnowlagh parade.
There are over 40 Orange halls in Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has members in nine counties in the Republic.
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