City back in Black for county demonstration

The County Antrim Black Saturday demonstration will come to Lisburn this weekend.
The County Antrim Black Saturday demonstration will come to Lisburn this weekend.

Some 79 preceptories and almost as many bands will flock to Lisburn this weekend as the city hosts the Co. Antrim Black Saturday demonstration for the first time since 2009.

Five district chapters - Ballymena, Antrim, Larne, Ballymoney and Ballyclare - will join hosts, Lisburn Royal Black District Chapter No 1, for the day’s events.

Local Ulster Unionist Councillor Robbie Butler is calling on the community to maintain what he called “the royal baby and Twelfth spirit” by supporting Saturday’s demonstration.

“In these challenging economic days,” he said, “it was a tremendous boost for the entire community to come out and see the new princess as well as enjoy other royal birth events. It gave us all a big lift.I encourage the community to keep this terrific royal baby spirit which has been created and turn out again in thousands to support the various Black demonstrations, not just in County Antrim, but right across Northern Ireland.

“The Sir Knights in Lisburn District are to be equally commended for organising what I am sure will be a very professional demonstration, enhancing the order’s true Christian and family values.”

Saturday’s visiting bands and preceptories will arrive by Prince William Road to de-bus at the Laurelhill Road assembly point from 10-11.30am.

Buses will then travel by Ballymacash Road and Antrim Road to Prince William Road to await the return procession.

The parade will form up to the side of Laurelhill school, moving off at 12.30pm sharp down Laurelhill Road to Prince William Road.

With roads closed as the parade proceeds, the route will take in Thiepval Road, Chapel Hill, Bow Street, Castle Street - where a wreath will be laid and Last Post sounded at the war memorial - into Seymour Street and past the saluting base to the demonstration area at Wallace Park, where at 2.30pm a religious service will be led from the platform.

Lisburn District Master, Edward Carson, will chair platform proceedings while Assistant Sovereign Grand Master, Ivan Kelly, will be guest speaker and County Antrim Grand Chaplain, Robert Campbell, will conduct worship.

The return parade will form at Wallace Park and move off at 4.15pm.

It will go by the Magheralave Road gate onto Railway Street and into Market Square - where a wreath will be laid at the UDR memorial - Market Street, Smithfield Street, Market Place, Antrim Street, Antrim Road, Bentrim Road and Prince William Road.