Lurgan’s Orangemen joined fellow brethren in Portadown for one of the largest Twelfth gatherings anywhere in the world as almost 5,000 brethren were on parade at the flagship event.
Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Harold Henning praised the hard work which had taken place to ensure the day was a success, paying tribute to both Portadown District No 1 and Lurgan’s Denis Watson.
“I know as a District it is almost 20 years since you have been able to complete the return parade from Drumcree Parish Church at your annual service,” said Mr Henning. “I commend the officers for their efforts on mediation and their offer to talk to the residents through facilitators which has unfortunately been met with no response. The Parades Commission continues to make ludicrous decisions against our traditional processions. There seems to an ongoing effort to suppress our cultural expression and religious freedom. The current legislation needs to be replaced with fair and equal laws, removing the republican veto.”
“I also pay tribute to County Grand Master Denis Watson and the brethren of Armagh for their endeavours to promote our Institution, locally and further afield,” added the Deputy Grand Master.