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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Thousands attend Orange parades
pipers
A pipe band marching in Enniskillen
Tens of thousands of Orangemen and supporters have attended Northern Ireland's Twelfth of July parades.

The parades mark the victory of the Protestant William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

In total 18 demonstrations were held by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

The largest parade was in Belfast and thousands of spectators lined the city's streets to watch the marchers.

The Belfast parade left Carlisle Circus at 1000 BST for the City Hall and a wreath laying ceremony.

From there, it made its way to the field at Barnett Demesne. It left for the return journey at 1615 BST.

PARADE VENUES
Belfast
Enniskillen
Loughgall
Limavady
Moneymore
Donemana
Dungannon
Augher
Holywood
Lenaderg
Ballynahinch
Ballymartin
Magheraberry
Ballymena
Cloughmills
Braid
Ahoghill
Cloughfern

At the field Orangemen took pledges of Protestant faith, loyalty to the crown and support for the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Independent Loyal Orange Institution paraded in Ballymoney, County Antrim, where First Minister Ian Paisley was the keynote speaker.

During his first Twelfth demonstration since becoming first minister, Mr Paisley criticised the pope.

"The Rome that Martin Luther fought is still the same today," he said.

Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley addressed Independent Orange members at Ballymoney

"It has not changed and it will not change."

At Ballynahinch, County Down, DUP assembly member Jim Wells told Orange Order members that republicans "must disband their army council".

"There is absolutely no indication that the IRA army council has been stood down," he said.

"This issue must be addressed immediately and it must be made clear to Sinn Fein that there must be delivery on this and other important issues."

In Armagh the windows of several buses carrying bandsmen were broken by stone-throwers as they travelled along Friary Road at about 1615 BST.

Among the spectators in Belfast was Lord Ashdown who is to head a review of parading in Northern Ireland.

He said he hoped the Twelfth could become "a celebration of culture not politics".




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The parade passing through Belfast city centre



SEE ALSO
Soldiers in barracks for Twelfth
12 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
Thousands set for Orange parades
12 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
O'Loan clears police over parade
07 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland
Policing parade trouble cost 3m
31 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland

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