Northern Ireland

Orangemen take part in Twelfth of July parades

Orangemen march along Belfast's Dublin Road
Orangemen marched along Belfast's Dublin Road

Orangemen across Northern Ireland have held their annual Twelfth of July celebrations.

The Protestant Orange Order staged its five flagship demonstrations at Hillsborough, Portrush, Cookstown, Newtownstewart and Antrim.

The marches commemorate Prince William of Orange's 1690 Battle of the Boyne victory over Catholic King James II.

Police had appealed for restraint from those taking part in the parades and those protesting against them.

Eighteen demonstrations were held across Northern Ireland

Among the criteria used to choose the flagship parades were activities offered and the ability to engage with visitors and tourists.

The Twelfth of July is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland.

It is the annual high-point of the loyal orders' parading calendar.

Some marches have been a source of tension between nationalists who see the parades as triumphalist and intimidating, and Orangemen who believe it is their right to walk on public roads.

In recent years, the Order has made efforts to rebrand the day as "Orangefest," with some believing the event has the potential to become a major tourist attraction.

Meanwhile, the NI Fire Service said it was called out to 28 incidents related to 'Eleventh Night' bonfires.

It said the majority of the calls on Sunday night were in the greater Belfast area.

In some cases houses and other buildings had to be cooled by crews using water jets due to the proximity of bonfires.

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