The annual Twelfth of July parade in Rossnowlagh has been cancelled due to coronavirus.
The Orange Order has today announced that all of its 17 marches have been cancelled this summer.
The ‘Donegal Twelfth’ has taken place annually at Rossnowlagh since 1978. The demonstration, which traditionally takes place a few days before July 12th, is the only parade to take place outside Northern Ireland.
The event often attracts thousands of people from lodges from counties Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan as well as Donegal.
In light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson regretfully confirmed that all 2020 Boyne Anniversary Parades will be cancelled.
“In the current circumstances, the gathering of hundreds of thousands of Orangemen and women, together with their accompanying bands and spectators, would not be responsible,” he said.
“I appreciate that our culture and traditions are very much a way of life for the Orange family, however in light of the current situation, we must prioritise the safety of not only our members, but of the entire community.”
The cancellation of the Twelfth of July parades is not without precedent. Parades were not held for a time during the First and Second World Wars or during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. At these times, alternative ways to mark the occasion were found, such as flying flags and displays of Orange Lilies.
The Grand Master commented: “We will look at alternative ways the Twelfth of July can be appropriately marked in 2020, following the guidelines and restrictions applicable at that time.”