The Orange Order has confirmed that it’s Twelfth of July parades will not be held this year, and “alternative ways to mark the date this year” will be explored.
Parades had been due to take place at 17 venues across Northern Ireland and in County Donegal.
The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, said the decision was made “in the best interests of our members, their families and the wider community.”
“In the current circumstances, the gathering of hundreds of thousands of Orangemen and women, together with their accompanying bands and spectators, would not be responsible. “For some, the coming days will be extremely painful. We must bear in mind that for many people there will be no return of normal life. They will have lost loved ones.
“The Orange Family has already lost members to this terrible virus whilst others are currently in hospital. I would encourage you to pray for all those who have been or will be affected by the Coronavirus and for those in our health service and other essential jobs who are working so hard to fight it.”
This is not the first time the Orange Order parades have been cancelled – they were not held during the First & Second World Wars or during the Spanish Flu epidemic.