Battle of the Boyne: Is today a bank holiday?

Battle of the Boyne: Is today a bank holiday?

July 13, 2020

The Battle of the Boyne was fought in July 1690 between the armies of the deposed Catholic King of England, Scotland and Ireland, James II, and Protestant King William III, formerly Prince of Orange in Holland. The battle took place across the River Boyne near the town of Drogheda in the Republic of Ireland, which at the time, was called the Kingdom of Ireland. William of Orange’s forces won the battle against King James’s army, which was a small victory but a large symbolic defeat.

Until this day, James II remains the last Catholic monarch of England.

The Battle of the Boyne was the second time the former Dutch king had defeated James.

The first came following the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.

So, is today a bank holiday? Express.co.uk takes a look for you.

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Is today a bank holiday?

Although the Battle of Boyne took place on July 1, it is commemorated on the 12, which is the day James’s army was destroyed.

The historically significant event is celebrated with a bank holiday the following day, which is today, Monday, July 13.

The bank holiday, however, is only celebrated in Northern Ireland.

Every year, members of the Orange Order – named after the victorious King and founded in 1795 – carry banners and flags in parades across Northern Ireland.

They are usually accompanied by marching bands carrying musical instruments, including pipes and drums.

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Orangemen wear distinctive bowler hats, white gloves and orange sashes.

The order currently has 35,000 to 40,000 members, including an estimated 2,000 in the Republic of Ireland.

The annual celebrations usually begin with bonfires and fireworks on the night of the 11th.

Although marches are most often of a peaceful nature, many have been marred with violence.

There has also often been confrontation between Irish nationalists and British unionists during the marches.

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The conflict is in part, spurred on by the fact some marches go through traditionally Catholic and Irish nationalist neighbourhoods.

This year’s parades, however, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, urged people to celebrate the event at home.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Foster said: “I am appealing to people to celebrate the Twelfth absolutely, but to do so at home and in a way that protects our community.

“Everybody has a responsibility to show leadership and I very much hope that not just DUP members but everyone who is celebrating the Twelfth tomorrow does so in a way that respects the social responsibility and, indeed, respects the coronavirus regulations and the guidance.”

However, despite Government advice, more than 200 notifications have been received by the Parades Commission from bands who want to stage local processions.

The Orange Order’s Grand Secretary, Mervyn Gibson, said he is looking forward to seeing processions brought to his door.

Mr Gibson said: “I hope everyone will have an enjoyable, socially distanced July 12. I will be waving to a band as they pass my gates.

“I would urge all to enjoy the music if it comes to your door, but if it doesn’t, please don’t go out to follow the bands, turn on Radio Boyne and listen to traditional tunes on the online station.

“Stay at home, have a barbecue, have a picnic with your family and any bubble you can go to. Whatever you do, obey the regulations.”

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