Thousands set to gather for ‘Twelfth’ demonstrations

THOUSANDS of people are set to take to the streets of north Antrim for next week’s Twelfth of July events.

The major gatherings will be in Ballycastle and Ballymoney.

In Ballycastle, Orangemen from the districts of Ballycastle, Cloughmills, Rasharkin, Ballymoney and Bushmills will be on the march.

And in Ballymoney the Independent Orange Order will hold their main demonstration.

Police have issued advice to people who are either attending the parades or who will be intending to travel in areas where parades are taking place.

A spokesman for Ballymoney PSNI said: “The Independent Orange Order will parade through Ballymoney from 1pm. We have been working closely with the parade organisers and other agencies and we want to ensure it is as an enjoyable event for those taking part with miminum disruption to others.

“We will have police on duty and signage up advising motorists a parade is on telling of diversions.

“There will also be smaller feeder parades throughout the Ballymoney area from 8.30am onwards on Tuesday and return parades later in the day. We would ask motorists to be mindful of parades taking place that they could encounter.

“We anticipate a successful and peaceful event in Ballymoney. We would remind the public Ballymoney town centre is a designated area under Ballymoney Council bylaws with regard to the consumption of alcohol. We will be reminding people that means they cannot drink on the streets and we will be giving out leaflets to that effect with the support of the parade organisers.”

Over in Moyle, the police issued the following statement about the Twelfth of July parade.

A police spokesperson in Moyle sai: “Police in the Moyle area are hopeful of a peaceful 12th of July period and confirm that they are firmly committed to policing their parades in a personal, professional and protective way. Despite recent press coverage of disorder across the Province, last year hundreds of parades passed off peacefully. People not wishing to attend parades are allowed to get on with their lives and this is all as a result of a lot of work by communities, local representatives and police.

“We in Moyle are keen to continue working with parade organisers and local communities to ensure that all parades pass off peacefully and to reduce the likelihood of tensions or disorder developing.”

A number of presentations are being made prior to some Lodges leaving their halls for the Twelfth demonstrations in the two towns.

A number of Orangemen will receive long-service medals for as many as fifty years service.

* Bushside Independents were unable to erect their garland this year after an accident involving one vehicle last Monday night which destroyed a pole used to secure the garland.