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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Orangemen on the march
The celebrations date back 300 years
The celebrations date back 300 years
Tens of thousands of Orangemen have taken part in the annual Twelfth of July celebrations in Northern Ireland.

They gathered at 19 venues across the province to commemorate William of Orange's 1690 Battle of the Boyne victory over Catholic King James II.

Friday marked the biggest day in the Protestant marching calendar with the largest parade in Belfast.

Tight security was in place in a number of areas where marches were contentious and where there have been clashes at interface areas in previous years.

These included the lower Ormeau Road in south Belfast, Springfield Road in the west of the city and the Crumlin Road in north Belfast where nationalists oppose the parades.

Rally sites
Ballymena
Lisburn
Cloughmills
Carrickfergus
Cullybackey
Broughshane
Newtownhamilton
Dundrum
Dollingstown
Kilkeel
Newtownards
Kilrea
Edenderry
Coleraine
Coagh
Ballygawley
Kesh

Early on Friday morning, an explosive device was defused close to the route of the Orange Order's main parade in Belfast.

One of four resolutions being passed at the rallies questioned the fairness of a political process and the "inclusion in government of men who have not renounced the use of violence".

The fourth resolution, declared Orangemen's "total condemnation of all violence".

In County Antrim, demonstrations took place in Lisburn, Cloughmills, Carrickfergus, Cullybackey, Ballymena and Broughshane.

The main County Armagh demonstration was held at Newtownhamilton.

In County Down, the venues were at Dundrum, Dollingstown, Kilkeel and Newtownards, while Kilrea and Coleraine staged the County Londonderry demonstrations.

The three main events in County Tyrone were at Coagh, Omagh and Ballygawley, with County Fermanagh's single demonstration at Kesh.

The Independent Orange Order was on parade in Ballycastle.

Loyalist paramilitaries fire shots at an 11th night bonfire in west Belfast
Loyalist paramilitaries fire shots at an 11th night bonfire in west Belfast

Meanwhile, fire crews were attacked while dealing with emergencies connected with traditional bonfires on the eve of the 12 July commemorations.

Fire-fighters responded to more than 315 call-outs - an increase of 27 on last year - and a number were attacked.

The Fire Service said 69 of the call-outs were directly related to bonfires while many of the remaining 246 were indirectly linked to 11th night activities.

Fire units were attacked with stones on five occasions, in three areas of south Belfast, Bangor in County Down and Larne in County Antrim. No-one was injured.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Conor Macauley:
"There was a heavy security presence in Ardoyne"
BBC NI's Julian O'Neill
takes an in-depth look at the Orange Order
BBC NI's Martina Purdy:
"Jeffrey Donaldson said the day of reckoning for the peace process had arrived"
BBC Northern Ireland
reports on the Twelfth of July demonstrations
See also:

12 Jul 02 | N Ireland
12 Jul 02 | N Ireland
12 Jul 02 | N Ireland
11 Jul 02 | N Ireland
Internet links:


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