Northern Ireland

Loyal Orders' banner parade record attempt

Hundreds of loyal order banners have been on parade in Kesh, County Fermanagh.

It was part of an attempt to set a record for the largest number of banners on parade at one time.

The event was organised by Orangemen from Pettigo District to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant.

Banners from all over the UK and Ireland were there.

Pettigo District Secretary, Gary Wilson, said the record attempt had attracted great interest.

"We wanted to do something that no one else had ever attempted to mark these two very special occasions in our unionist history," he said.

Image caption The event was designed to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

"The response has been phenomenal, we've been blown away.

"We have a minimum of 360 banners from all over England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland."

Banners play a very big part in the Orange culture. They are the focal point of any lodge.

"They are a very expensive item," said Mr Wilson. "They cost maybe £2,000 now and it's a real skill of the banner painter in his work and it's a masterpiece. It's a work of art.

"They portray many historical scenes, biblical images, and a lot of other things that are local to that particular lodge.

"That's why we thought of this idea because we never see banners from outside our own county and this has given us an opportunity to see them and look at them in all their glory."

The most common subject of Orange banners is King William III on horseback, whose victory in the Battle of the Boyne is celebrated by thousands of Orangemen each year on 12 July.