Newry Catholic community used to take part in 12th July Parade.


Although many people will tell it otherwise, it’s important to remember that Before the Troubles, Newry’s Catholic community enjoyed the 12th of July just as much as their Loyal God-fearing Protestant neighbours.

This week’s picture shows an Orange Parade in the town in 1911. It was then customary for a delegation of Catholics to march down Monaghan Street at the same time carrying a large banner reading “No Hard Feelings”.

The two parades would meet at Hill Street where the leader of the town’s Catholics (or ‘priest’) would present The Grand Master with a letter congratulating the Protestants on their victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and declaring that – as far as the Catholics were concerned – this marked “an end to the matter”.

It is true that some trouble occurred back in 1875 when it was discovered that this letter had been written in Irish, but the matter was soon amicably resolved, with only a handful of casualties.