27 August 2005

Blackmen's parade is disrupted

Belfast Telegraph

Suspect device on route of march later declared a hoax

By Ashleigh Wallace
27 August 2005

THE Royal Black Preceptory's District Parade in Armagh was disrupted this morning following the discovery of a suspect device on the route.

There were widespread traffic problems in the city after the device was discovered in Lonsdale Road.

The parade was halted and traffic diversions were put in place while police examined the scene.

Thousands of members of the Royal Black Institution were on the march across Ulster today as part of the organisation's 'last Saturday' celebrations.

Loughgall village hosted Blackmen from Co Armagh and east Tyrone, where upwards of 70 preceptories were expected.

The flag-bedecked village sported a new arch for the occasion, with this year's demonstration hosted by Summerisland Royal Black District Chapter No 6.

The sovereign grand master of the Royal Black Institution, William Logan, was due to address those gathered.

And in Donegal, thousands of Blackmen and their supporters converged in Raphoe for the first Black Saturday parade to take place in the Republic. Around 36 preceptories from across Co Londonderry marched through The Diamond.

Local man, Alex Buchanan, said that Raphoe Royal Black Preceptory No 258 was honoured to be hosting the 'last Saturday' parade.

He said: "We're expecting 30 to 40 bands to take part in the parade and we'll meet in the Royal and Prior school grounds before parading through the village and up Sparrow Hill to a field."

Parades are also taking place in Newtownards, Lurgan and Newtownstewart.

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