At the annual Twelfth parade in Rossnowlagh on Saturday, the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland spoke on the “ongoing Brexit debate,” commenting that whatever the outcome, the United Kingdom and Ireland should remain “good neighbours.”

The parade in Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal took place last Saturday, July 6 ahead of the main demonstrations in Northern Ireland which will take place this Friday.

Over forty lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orangemen from Fermanagh, participated in the procession which began close to St. John’s Parish Church at 12.30pm.

The parade made its way to the demonstration field, on the edge of the shoreline - regarded as one of the most beautiful locations for an Orange parade anywhere in the world.

The Donegal procession continues to be revered for its “laid-back family atmosphere” and low-key security presence.

Tourists and holidaymakers staying in the local caravan parks, joined by many newcomers, were among the large crowd of spectators who lined the meandering parade route; witnessing the spectacle of this distinctive Orange event.

The religious service was led by Reverend John Noble, Grand Chaplain followed by an address by the main speaker Edward Stevenson, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Proceedings were chaired by the County Donegal Grand Master, David Mahon.

Speaking from the platform to a large crowd of onlookers, The Grand Master said: “The large numbers both participating and lining the route today, many having travelled long distances, confirms the special resonance the Rossnowlagh Twelfth continues to have for the entire Orange fraternity as we celebrate our proud cultural heritage.”

Turning his attention to the ongoing Brexit debate, he stated: “Brexit has, and continues to dominate the local and international political agenda.”

He continued: “There are many differing opinions on what is best for the United Kingdom and indeed for Ireland in the current debate. Like most neighbours, will never agree on everything but whatever the outcome, that should not mean that the United Kingdom and Ireland cannot be good neighbours – or indeed become better neighbours.”

The Twelfth in Donegal has been held in Rossnowlagh since the 1900s. This year saw a new banner unveiled by the members of Killymard LOL 1013 and the first outing for a new Junior Lodge from Manorcunningham.

There are 44 Orange halls in Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has members in nine counties in the Republic.

Rossnowlagh is the traditional prelude to the 18 Twelfth demonstrations being held across Northern Ireland, taking place next Friday, July 12.