Northern Ireland

Twelfth of July clean-up costs revealed

An Orangeman wearing a bowler hat at the Twelfth parade in Belfast Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Orangemen at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall on 12 July

Cleaning up after the Twelfth of July celebrations in Belfast cost just under £21,000 in 2018, figures obtained by BBC News NI have shown.

Belfast City Council paid out the figure to 86 staff who provided street-cleaning services.

Since 2013, a total of £153,000 has been spent.

Belfast city centre is a focal point for the Twelfth, with parades in the city attracting thousands of people each year.

Every year on 12 July, members of the Orange Order hold parades across Northern Ireland to mark the victory of Protestant King William III - also known as William of Orange - over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in County Meath in 1690.

The Belfast parade makes its way through the city centre on its way to a demonstration field at Barnett Demesne in the south of the city.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Spectators flood the streets of Belfast on 12 July to watch Northern Ireland's biggest Orange Order parade

Between 2013 and 2018, the most spent on cleaning up in a single year was in 2015, when £31,148 was paid out.

Workers are paid at an overtime rate - a higher rate of pay than normal.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said: "Staffing numbers for cleansing operations on 12 July reflect the number, duration and length of parades taking place across the whole of Belfast on this date, not just within the city centre.

"This means more staff being required at a wider number of locations across the city, as well as ensuring city centre streets are cleansed ahead of trading hours commencing in the afternoon."

The council said the money to cover the costs comes from the street cleansing staff budget, which includes provision for special events such as the Twelfth.

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