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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

FULL DETAILS | Royal Black to step out at six locations for the finale to parading season

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

The Royal Black Institution will mark the finale of the parading season, the Last Saturday, with six major demonstrations on August 27.


Around 17,000 members will take part in parades at six locations in Northern Ireland: Bangor, Ballyclare, Dromore, Killylea, Portrush and Sion Mills.

Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson, who will attend the Bangor demonstration, said approximately 350 preceptories and around 300 bands will be involved in the traditional events.


He said: “The Last Saturday celebrations are a glorious expression of culture, marking a flagship day in the annual parading season.


“We are expecting tens of thousands of supporters to turn out at the six major venues now that there are no restrictions in place due to Covid regulations, as was the case for the past two years.”


He added: “The institution is founded on Christian principles, and services of worship will be held at each venue to underline the ethos and moral values of the Imperial Grand Black Chapter.”

Ahead of Saturday’s processions, police have advised motorists to expect delays for the local parade in Ballyclare.

A police spokesperson said:

“Road users are being advised to expect delays in Ballyclare, on Saturday 27 August, due to a planned parade.

“The Mill Road in Ballyclare will be closed from approximately 9.30am, and the rest of the town will be closed to traffic between 12 noon and 6pm.

Please be advised that Parade buses should use the Hillhead Road entrance to enter the town and offload on the Mill Road.

“There will also be morning and evening feeder parades across Antrim and Newtownabbey district areas. This includes Ballyclare, Doagh, Mallusk, Monkstown, Antrim, Randalstown, Crumlin and


“These parades should cause minimal disruption but if you can seek an alternative route for your journey, please do so.”



The north Down seaside resort, which in May was granted city status in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours, is the venue for the largest demonstration.

A total of 105 preceptories and 95 bands will parade through Bangor to the demonstration field at Ward Park.


Hosts are Bangor Royal Black chapter No 13, and the parade is scheduled to start at 12 noon, with the return procession at 4pm.


Fourteen districts will take part - Lower Iveagh (Dromore), Lecale, Castlewellan, Newry, Ballynahinch, Banbridge, Rathfriland, Mourne, Largymore (Lisburn), Comber, Newtownards, Saintfield, Bangor and Lurgan.



Ballyclare Royal Black District Chapter No 6 hosted the Last Saturday in 2014. It was their turn to host again in 2020 but the impact of the pandemic meant the postponement of those plans until this year.


Other districts visiting the Co Antrim location will be Lisburn, Ballymena, Antrim, Larne and Ballymoney.


A total of 81 preceptories will take part, accompanied by 75 bands, which could involve a total of around 6,000 in the procession.  

Sixmilewater Park is the venue for both the parade assembly area and the main demonstration field.


The parade is scheduled to start at 12.15pm and to return at 4.15pm.

Three charities will benefit from the sales of the annual booklet: Every Life Matters, CLIC Sargent and Air Ambulance NI.



City of Belfast Grand Black Chapter will parade in Dromore, Co Down, where a total of 48 preceptories from seven districts will be accompanied by around 30 bands.


It is estimated that up to 1,800 will be in the procession, attracting a large number of spectators, both from the local area and Belfast.


A drumhead service will be held in Dromore Orange Hall at 11.30am, then the parade will move off through the village at 12 noon, stopping to lay a wreath at the War Memorial, before moving on to Ferris Park, where there will be a break for lunch.


The return procession is scheduled to begin at 3.45pm, before preceptories and bands board buses back to Belfast, where they will parade in their respective areas.



Primatial Royal Black District No 4 will host the annual demonstration in the Co Armagh village of Killylea.


“Following the postponement of our normal hosting due to the pandemic, we are pleased to renew our friendships and to be joined by our neighbouring district chapters of Aughnacloy RBDC, Killyman RBDC, Summerisland RBDC, East Tyrone RBDC and a number of visiting preceptories from the Republic of Ireland,” said the organisers.


Sixty-three preceptories and 61 bands will take part in the parade, which will move off from the assembly field on the Armagh side of the village at 12 noon.

Headed by the county bannerettes of Armagh and Tyrone, the procession will stream along Main Street, pausing at the War Memorial to lay a wreath on behalf of the Primatial District (Armagh City).


The main demonstration field is on the Caledon side of the village, where platform proceedings will begin at 2.15pm. The religious service will be chaired by Worshipful District Master Gordon Wakenshaw and led by the district chaplain Rev Edwin Frazer, assisted by Rev John Batchelor, with Rev Roger McElnea delivering the address. After the religious service, the resolutions will be read by County Armagh Grand Master David Livingstone.


The return parade is at 3.30pm, following the route to the bus parking area on the main Armagh Road.



The Co Londonderry demonstration takes place in Portrush, and will involve four districts - Coleraine, City of Londonderry, Raphoe (Co Donegal) and South Londonderry.


Thirty-three preceptories and 31 bands will take part in the procession in the seaside resort, with a starting time of 12 noon for the main parade, returning at 3.30pm.


The noon parade will proceed from Parker Avenue/Girona Avenue to the Causeway Bowl.


Guest speaker is Henry Dunbar, Assistant Sovereign Grand Master, Scotland, and platform proceedings will be chaired by Jeffrey Stirling, County Grand Master.

Among those taking part in the service will be Rev JJ Andrews, County Grand Chaplain and Sean McClafferty, Worshipful Master, Raphoe RBP 258.



Omagh Royal Black District Chapter No 4 is the host for the Co Tyrone venue of Sion Mills, with Omagh, Strabane and Castlederg districts taking part in the parade, which will include a wreath-laying ceremony at the village War Memorial.

County Fermanagh Grand Master Tom Elliott andImperial Grand Chaplain Raymond Adams will be among the platform speakers.

Twenty-five preceptories and 27 bands will take part, with the procession forming at 12 noon, moving off at 12.30pm, and the return parade due at 3pm.  

The assembly area beside the Linen Green will also be used as the demonstration field.


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