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Monday, 9 July, 2001, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Orangemen on march in Scotland
Orange parade in Glasgow
One of the parades travelled through Glasgow
Up to 35,000 people have taken part in Orange Order marches in Scotland to mark the 311th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Despite pouring rain they turned out for three marches in Harthill, Renfrew and Glasgow, on Saturday.

Marchers arrived at Blythswood Square in Glasgow from across the country for the annual Orange Order parades.

Members of the Grand Orange Lodge said more than 300 years after the Battle of the Boyne, their celebrations were more relevant than ever because their core values were under threat.

Rev William McCrea
William McCrea: "Friendship and brotherhood"

The rain kept the crowd numbers low but for those who did come along, it did not dampen their spirits.

Whilst preparations were underway for the start of the Drumcree march in Northern Ireland, representatives from lodges there said the support from Scottish Protestants was invaluable.

George McNee, Orange Order County Grand Master, said the parades were an expression of Protestant culture and a testament to their collective beliefs in the Crown and the union.

Mr McNee said: "We are here to get our religious and civil liberties and maintain our religious and civil liberties. We support the Queen and we support the monarchy and we support Great Britain.

"We would like to see that settlement remain."

Rev William McCrea of the Democratic Unionist Party, said the Scots parades were a sign of Protestant solidarity.

He said: "I think it is very important because as you can realise, this (Scotland) is another part of the United Kingdom and we are in the same family.

"And therefore there is a warm friendship and brotherhood between the people in Northern Ireland and the people in Scotland."

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See also:

09 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Minor protest after Drumcree parade
02 Apr 00 | Scotland
Orangemen's march bid fails
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