Glorious sunshine in Rossnowlagh as Donegal lodges get pride of place in 12th march

DUP leader Arlene Foster watches on as thousands throng Donegal resort

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Glorious sunshine in Rossnowlagh as Donegal lodges get pride of place in 12th march

Convoy Orange Lodge marching in Rossnowlagh on Saturday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD 100717 Orange Parade TG1

DUP leader Arlene Foster, as she has done many times in the past, was in Rossnowlagh today for what is a very unique Orange Order parade in the Republic of Ireland.

The Fermanagh woman has spoken regularly about the many times she has enjoyed the day in Rossnowlagh and there was little surprise locally to see her there.

Power sharing talks in Stormont seemed a world away as Ms Foster looked like she hadn't a care in the world sitting on a fence with family and friends watching more than 50 lodges taking part in the Demonstration.

Lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orange men and women from Dublin and Wicklow, Northern Ireland and further afield enjoyed spectacularly good weather, the sun beaming down as the marchers made their way from St John's Church to the field where they participated in a religious service where the sermon was delivered by Robert Campbell, County Antrim Deputy Grand Chaplain.

The main speaker was Stuart Brooker, Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Proceedings were chaired by the County Donegal Grand Master, David Mahon.

Around 50 lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orangemen and women, will take part in the parade which begins close to St. John’s Parish Church at 12 noon.

The Twelfth in Donegal has been held in Rossnowlagh since the 1900s and has taken place there every year since 1978. It is traditional to hold the parade on the Saturday before the main Twelfth parades, meaning lodges in the Irish Republic can attend the Twelfth demonstrations in Northern Ireland.

Among the many lodges stepping out was Newtowncunningham LOL 1063, carrying their new banner for the first time, having been dedicated earlier this week. The banner pays tribute to the founding members of the lodge who served during the First World War. A new bannerette of Revival in Ireland Memorial LOL 1859 will also be on display during the Rossnowlagh parade.

There are over 40 Orange halls in Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has members in nine counties in the Republic.