Ballymoney Twelfth venue for Independents

MEMBERS of the Independent Orange Order will hold their Twelfth demonstration in Ballymoney this year, the Times understands.

And for one member it will be something of an historic occasion.

Alan McLean, a member of Ballinagarvey Lodge, will take his place on the platform as the new Imperal Grand Master taking over from Cyril Glass, a familiar and respected figure who is a member of Killycoogan Accordion band.

Bro. McLean had acted as Deputy Master and his old position has been taken up by David Anderson who is attached to Garryduff Lodge.

Both men will have an important role in the proceedings and are understood to be looking forward to the demonstration.

Last year the Independents broke new ground by holding their Twelfth of July parade in Armoy for the first time in a number of years.

The village was well suited to the brethren and Ballymoney, home to as many parades than most other towns in Northern Ireland, will also be an ideal venue.

The parade will assemble at the Showgrounds and make its way around the town after which the platform proceedings will begin.

In most years, Rev. Ian Paisley was a familiar figure on the platform, but last year he did not take part in the speeches for the first time in a number of years.

He is not expected to be on the platform this year, according to a source, but his son, Ian Junior, who succeeded his father as MP for North Antrim in last May's elections, is expected to be present.

Mr. Paisley normally takes in the other local parade - the Old Order demonstration which takes in the five districts of Cloughmills, Rasharkin, Ballymoney, Bushmills and Ballycastle.