Northern Ireland

Rossnowlagh parade: Thousands of Orangemen and women take part

Rossnowlagh

Thousands of Orangemen and women have taken part in their annual parade in Rossnowlagh in County Donegal.

Fifty lodges from around Ireland, along with visiting Orangemen and women, attended the event.

The parade, accompanied by 30 bands, made its way along the rural coastal setting into the centre of the seaside village before a religious service.

Many families with young children gathered at vantage points along the route to take in the demonstration.

County grandmaster David Mahon said Donegal prides itself on being a family-friendly day with a relaxed atmosphere.

The parade is the traditional opener to the annual 12 July celebrations marking King William III's victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Image caption Grand Master of the Orange Order Edward Stevenson was on parade
Image caption The lodges hit the jackpot with the weather

Assistant Grand Master Stuart Brooker told the crowds the institution was "being challenged on many fronts".

"One of the biggest issues we currently face is organised opposition to our traditional parades, and in this respect, we are branded intransigent, and insensitive," he said.

"We have responded by challenging ourselves. And I believe that we have responded in a responsible manner, by reaching out to the wider community as never before."

He added that they have done so "in a spirit of openness and goodwill, evidenced in the success of the Twelfth here in Rossnowlagh."

Image caption The setting for this parade is rural and coastal and very scenic
Image caption It is billed as a family-friendly day