Arlene Foster among crowd at Rossnowlagh parade

DUP leader attends Republic’s only annual Orange Orange parade

 

DUP leader Arlene Foster joined a large crowd watching the Republic’s only annual Orange parade on Saturday.

She was with family members and friends among the 10,000 crowd, as 50 Orange bands from across the North and the Border area took part in the pre-Twelfth of July parade at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.

Orangemen eat ice cream after taking part in the annual pre-Twelfth of July parade in Rossnowlagh. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Orangemen eat ice cream after taking part in the annual pre-Twelfth of July parade in Rossnowlagh. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Rossnowlagh, where the Orange Order parades every year, is a 40-minute drive from Ms Foster’s Co Fermanagh home.

She was in time to hear some of her own views on stalled talks with Sinn Féin reflected in the main speech of the afternoon.

Stuart Brooker, Assistant Grand Master of the Orange Lodge of Ireland, spoke of reaching out to the wider community, and particularly nationalists.

Orangemen take a walk on the beach at Rossnowlagh. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Orangemen take a walk on the beach at Rossnowlagh. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

“We have done so in a spirit of openness and goodwill,” he said.

“It’s a pity that we don’t see that same tolerance and respect reciprocated by others. It is something we cannot understand.”

Among marchers on parade were Orangemen from Convoy, Co Donegal, where a foundation stone was laid last week for a new hall to replace one burned three years ago.

Orangemen at the annual pre Twelfth of July parade held in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Photograph; Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Orangemen at the annual pre Twelfth of July parade held in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Photograph; Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

As the parade disbanded on sand-dunes, Orangemen wearing their sashes walked across the nearby beach, mingling with day-trippers learning to surf from four surf schools in the area.

Gardai reported peaceful afternoon with no arrests.