The Twelfth

A photoessay on the Protestant celebration in Northern Ireland known as The Twelfth is published in the August 8th issue of Maclean's Magazine. The Twelfth commemorates the Battle of the Boyne, a war in 1690 that marked the beginning of Protestant ascendency in Ireland. Every July 12th, Protestant marching bands and members of the Orange Order parade through the streets of Northern Ireland, at times ending in violence as they clash with Catholic communities. The holiday is kicked off the night before with the burning of bonfires up to 100' tall throughout the country. Many outsiders may think that Northern Ireland has moved pass The Troubles since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, but it remains a severely divided country--if a Protestant marries a Catholic, it is considered a "mixed relationship" and may result in being disowned by family. The Twelfth is the most dramatic example of distrust, resentment and hatred bubbling over between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.