Thousands expected at Cloughfern parade

Orange Brethren will gather in Cloughfern for the annual demonstration.
Orange Brethren will gather in Cloughfern for the annual demonstration.

Local Orange Order brethren will not have far to travel this year as the annual East Antrim Combine demonstration takes place in Cloughfern on July 12.

Lodges will join colleagues in Newtownabbey, where around 15,000 people are expected to line the route for the main demonstration, which gets under way at 11am at Doagh Road.

The Combine is made up of nine district lodges, with more than 70 private lodges. As well as Cloughfern, the districts are Larne, Randalstown, Staffordstown, Killead, Antrim, Sixmilewater, Carnmoney, and Carrickfergus.

The lodges will be joined by upwards of 40 bands from across Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Stepping out for their first Twelfth will be boys from Cloughfern Junior Williamites. Along with their senior counterparts they will be joined by many Orange women on parade.

Leaving from Cloughfern Protestant Hall, the parade will proceed along the Doagh Road, Shore Road, Rathcoole Drive, West Crescent and Church Road to the demonstration field at the Valley Leisure Centre.

The Battle of Messines will be in the thoughts of brethren during the resolutions. They will hear: “The Orange Institution remembers with pride, the role of many of our members who took part in the Battle of Messines 100 years ago in June 1917.

“We continue to cherish the memory of all those who served in the Great War, and other subsequent conflicts, with selfless devotion to the cause of freedom.”

Queen Elizabeth II will be thanked “for her remarkable 65 years of service” and the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther “nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg” will be addressed too.  

The guest speaker will be North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds. Entertainment will be provided by The Demi Walker School of Highland Dance, Carrickfergus Junior Drumming Club and a gospel group on the platform. The return parade is due to commence at 3:30pm.