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A Twelfth that commands respect

Published: 13 Jul 2012 13:000 comments

With Fermanagh and the rest of Northern Ireland celebrating the Twelfth of July to-day(Thursday), it's comforting locally that there is a much more relaxed approach to the event.

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In fact to-day's Twelfth in Enniskillen will again break new ground in community relations, not only in Northern Ireland but on a cross-Border basis.

As one of three Flagship Twelfths, the Enniskillen demonstration gets a boost in terms of tourism with marketing help from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Not only that but we will have two Tourism Ministers from North and Sout of the Border in attendance in Enniskillen to-day.

Local MLA and Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster will be attending her "home" Twelfth but she is also welcoming her counterpart in the Republic, Mr. Leo Varadkar to Enniskillen, making it another first for the Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge who are renowned for their work in terms of community relations but also ensuring that the Twelfth of July should be a family day without strong political content and with more emphasis on the Orange Order's religious principles.

Not only that but Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson is visiting the Enniskillen Twelfth, along with tourism chiefs, Howard Hastings, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Brian Ambrose, Chairman of Tourism Ireland.

Following the highly successful visit by the Queen just less than a month ago, Enniskillen will yet again be the focus of attention, for all the right reasons.

The community in Fermanagh can show that while there are differences, each side of the community can respect those. The Newtownbutler band parade on Friday night showed yet again the tolerance of people.

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