I’m always a wee bit wary of Twelfths that don’t happen until the Thirteenth. Especially so this year, as it’s a Twelfth with no marching. And what’s a Dara Lá Déag (Twelfth) without a bit of a march…

Edenderry will be empty, as will venues around the Province, vacant fields echoing to the sound of birds instead of brattling drums. Flutes and fifes will not be stilled, but their shrill beauty will be curtailed by Covid’s shackles.

Normally on the Twelfth, I’d be heading to my Da’s house in Hamilton Street in Lurgan; opening the window to listen out for the first hint of an approaching side-drum. Then I’d be rushing up…


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