Hundreds of unionists taking part in Orange 'Twelfth' parades in Derry

Hundreds of unionists and loyalists are taking part in Orange parades in Derry today.

Members of the loyal orders have paraded through the city centre as well as in the Waterside, Newbuildings, Claudy, Culmore, Tullyally and Donemana areas as part of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland's traditional 'Twelfth' commemorations.

They will now travel to Limavady for the Co. Derry flagship 'Twelfth' at 12noon.

The No 1912 Britannia LOL parade along Derry Walls during the Twelfth of July celebrations last year. Photo: George Sweeney.

The parades are taking place to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne when forces loyal to William of Orange defeated the Jacobites near Drogheda, although the battle actually took place on July 11, 1690, under the Gregorian Calendar, and its anniversary fell today. The 'Twelfth' was originally a celebration of the Battle of Aughrim.

Hundreds of unionists have paraded in Derry this morning.

Five hundred participants and an unknown number of supporters have taken part in a City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge, parade from Bond's Street, down along Spencer Road across Craigavon Bridge, and then up via the Diamond to Bishop Street from 8.30am.

They have made their way back across the bridge to May Street to board buses for Limavady.

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Eight bands took part in the demonstration. These are the Hamilton Flute Band, the Killaloo Accordian Band, the Sergeant Lindsay Mooney Memorial Flute Band, the Pride of the Orange and Blue Flute Band, the Glendermott Valley Flute Band, the East Bank Protestant Boys Flute Band, the Churchill Flute Band and the William King Memorial Flute Band.

Upon their return from Limavady the City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge will lead a return parade from May Street across to the city centre and back between 5.15pm and 6.15pm.

Several feeder parades took place across Derry prior to the main demonstration in Limavady.

Sixty-five participants took part in a Culmore True Blues Loyal Orange Lodge 1866 from the Victoria Hall to the Thornhill layby from 7.45am. The return leg is estimated to start at 7pm.

Sixty participants and 25 supporters joined a parade organised by the Newbuildings Victoria Loyal Orange Lodge 1087 from 7.15am.

In Claudy 200 participants and an unknown number of supporters took part in Loyal Orange Lodge No 2 Cumber Claudy's annual parade from 8.45am.

Three bands, the Burntollet Flute Band, the Kildoag Pipe Band and the Tullintrain Pipe Band took part. The return route through the village after the main demonstration in Limavady will be from 5.30pm.

Members of the Brother Scott Goligher Memorial Loyal Orange Lodge 461 paraded from Irish Street down the Dungiven Road to Bond's Street between 7.45am and 8.30pm. One hundred participants and 50 supporters took part.

The Glendermott Valley Flute Band led a parade of 40 participants through Tullyally from 6.45am to 7.45am. The return parade is slated for between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

From 7.45am 40 participants and 20 supporters took part in a Sergeant Lindsay Mooney Memorial Flute Band parade from Lincoln Court to Bond's Street via the Clooney Estate.

In Donemana the Pride of William Auld Boys Flute Band gave notification of a parade involving thirty people from 8am.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry Donemana Murray Club is holding parade from 10am. This will involve 20 participants and 30 supporters.

The 'Twelfth' in Limavady will be led by the Limavady District Loyal Orange Lodge No. 6.

The parade will leave from Church Street at 12noon led by Limavady District LOL No.6, the City Grand Lodge of Londonderry, Coleraine District LOL No.2 and Macosquin District LOL No.8 and parade through the town centre to the Orange Field at Roemill Road with 40 bands taking part.

The return parade is expected to start at 3.15pm after which local Orangemen will travel back to Derry by bus to complete the return leg of their parades.