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‘The Twelfth’: Celebration or Provocation?

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The arrival of the summer season in Northern Ireland brings with it the high-point of another season – the ‘marching season’.  Union Jacks on lampposts, kerb-stones painted red, white and blue, and enormous bonfires, often featuring the Irish tricolour at their peaks; each year throughout the end of June and the beginning of July we witness mass preparations for the 12th July celebrations.  ‘The Twelfth’ is a Protestant celebration in which marching bands and Members of the Orange Order commemorate the victory of King William of Orange over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.  While on one hand this annual event can be seen as a community-driven and family orientated celebration, from a nationalist point of view it is often considered to be contentious and provocative. Click here to keep reading

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