1000’s collect at Stormont to rejoice centenary of Northern Ireland | Northern Ireland

More than 10,000 folks gathered at Stormont to rejoice the centenary of Northern Ireland.

While political impasse stays, folks on the centenary occasion had been upbeat and in a relaxed temper as they fanned out throughout the grounds of Stormont to rejoice the previous, current and way forward for Northern Ireland.

Grand Master of the Orange Order, Edward Stevenson, opened proceedings by telling the group: “From its earliest days, Northern Ireland had to face turbulent times and very many challenges.”

He was cheered as he promised that Northern Ireland will stay an “integral” a part of the UK within the years to come back.

The Democratic Unionist celebration chief Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was amongst many unionist politicians who joined the parade.

He informed the PA information company that the dearth of a functioning Executive, which his celebration has prevented from forming, didn’t imply Northern Ireland couldn’t be celebrated.

“We have lots to celebrate in Northern Ireland. We have come through adversity in the past and we faced it down. And we’re looking to build for the future. Of course we want to see Stormont restored, but that means restoring Northern Ireland’s place fully in the United Kingdom.”

“Everyone is welcome here and if people feel they can’t be here, that of course is a matter for them.

“But we are here to celebrate 100 years of Northern Ireland. We are proud of what has been achieved in that century and we’re looking ahead to the future,” he stated.

Ulster Unionist celebration chief Doug Beattie stated it was essential to “separate” the celebration of Northern Ireland’s historical past from the present political impasse at Stormont.

He stated: “We have to separate that slightly from the political ebbs and flows of this place. We have had many ebbs and flows as far as Stormont is concerned, and the devolved settlement, and we need to separate one from the other.”

The occasion to mark the creation of Northern Ireland in 1921 comes after the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the celebrations final 12 months.

Members of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, the Junior Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, the Royal Black Institution and the Apprentice Boys of Derry, joined the parade.

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