Orange Order brethren from Carrickfergus District No. 19 travelled to Randalstown on Tuesday for the East Antrim Combine demonstration.
Thousands of people lined the streets for the Twelfth demonstration, which this year had special significance, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
Earlier local lodges paraded in Carrick, which was reported to have been quiet overnight after police threw a “ring of steel” around Glenfield amid concern that tension sparked by UDA in-fighting might spill over again during 11th night bonfires.
At Randalstown, hosts Staffordstown District No. 15 were delighted to welcome brethren, bandsmen and supporters to this year’s parade.
Speaking to the Times, Worshipful District Master Darren Richardson said: “Our main objective was to celebrate two significant anniversaries, the more significant in our calendar being the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, where so many brethren and indeed ordinary folk from Northern Ireland lost their lives. This year we’re proud to be supporting our nominated charity, Chest, Heart and Stroke.”
Also parading were Randalstown No. 22, Larne No. 1, Sixmilewater No. 10, Antrim No. 13, Killead No. 17, Cloughfern No. 24 and Carnmoney No. 25. There were 68 lodges in total, with over 60 bands. This was the first time the Twelfth had been held in Randalstown since 2011 and the first time Staffordstown District had hosted the parade since 2006. Traditional aspects were maintained, with a number of lambeg drummers taking part in the parade. The crowds were also entertained by music from flute bands, pipe bands and accordion bands.
The Times understands a fight broke out during the return leg of the event, resulting in the parade being delayed for a short time. Superintendent Emma Bond said: “Police are aware of a minor disturbance. Two men have been treated for cuts at the scene. Enquiries into the matter are ongoing.”