Coronavirus: July 12 parades canceled due to epidemic

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Parade in Lisnaskea

Legend

July 12 parades are held annually in Northern Ireland to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne


The July 12 parades were canceled across Northern Ireland due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The Orange Lodge of Ireland has confirmed that traditional fashion shows will not take place this summer.

The Grandmaster of Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said the decision was made in light of the ongoing pandemic.

He said the decision was in line with government health boards on restricting rallies.

He said all twelfth events will be canceled after consultation with the grand masters of the Order in England and Scotland.

Premier Arlene Foster hailed the decision to cancel the parades as a “responsible step.”

“The priority for all of us must be public health and the protection of lives,” said the head of the DUP.

“By taking such action now and if everyone adheres to the advice, we can reduce the pressures on our NHS, save lives and, ultimately, make sure we exit this pandemic as strongly as possible.” “

Tens of thousands of people attend the parades of the 12, which are held annually on July 12 to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

King William III – the Dutch-born Protestant better known as William of the Orange or King Billy – defeated Catholic King James II in County Meath in July 1690.

On July 12, bands from Orange lodges across Northern Ireland marched through villages, towns and cities.

They then listen to the speeches and prayers of the senior Orangemen.

  • BBC History: Battle of the Boyne
  • Profile: The Orange Order

Parades were scheduled to take place at 17 sites across Northern Ireland and also at Rossnowlagh in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.

This is not the first time that the twelfth has been canceled.

No parades were held during the First and Second World Wars or during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

All parades, including the twelfth, were canceled in the 1860s because of the Party Processions Act.

Around this time, other means of marking the occasion were found, such as flying flags and displays of orange lilies.

“It’s time to celebrate after”

Stevenson said that “under the present circumstances,” the big rallies for the twelfth would be “not responsible.”

He said the order would examine “alternative ways to mark July 12 appropriately in 2020”.

Stevenson added that the organization “must give priority to the safety not only of our members, but of the whole community” and that “the Orange family has already lost members because of this terrible virus then that others are in the hospital. “

Grand Order Secretary Mervyn Gibson told BBC Talkback “There will be a lot of time after that to celebrate our traditional birthdays.”

“Indeed, those who fought at the Boyne gave up their day and fought a cause, we ask people to fight a cause today,” he said.

“It’s the coronavirus. After that, we will celebrate the way it was beaten and we will also commemorate those who, unfortunately, will not pass this time. “

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