Brian O’Driscoll visits Orange Order parade

Former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll was among visitors to an Orange parade in Co Armagh.

He was in the village of Loughgall which hosted the flagship event for the Orange Order’s annual July 12 commemoration this year.

Orange Order member Aaron Willis from Loughgall said O’Driscoll got a very warm welcome, and that as a sports fan he was particularly excited to see him.

“We were just getting off the bus to line up for the parade when we saw him,” he told the Press Association.

“Then one of the guys asked him if he wanted to have a go on a lambeg drum. Everyone was so excited to see him and asking to get their picture taken with him, and he seemed to be enjoying himself which is the main thing.”

Co Armagh man Ivor Whitten snapped a selfie with the sporting star just before the main parade started.

Brian O’Driscoll in a selfie with Ivor Whitten (Ivor Whitten/Instagram)

Posting the photograph to his Instagram account, Mr Whitten commented: “Just bumping into @brianodriscoll in #Loughgall As you do. Absolute star and lovely guy.”

O’Driscoll tweeted on Thursday morning that he was in Northern Ireland to film a documentary about how rugby as a sport “unifies the country”, adding that he was “meeting some great people” and was looking forward to the documentary being aired in the autumn on BT Sport.

The Dubliner captained Ireland from 2003 to 2012 and also captained the Lions tour in 2005 in New Zealand.

He retired from the sport in 2014 and has since been working as a pundit for BT Sport.

O’Driscoll even tried his hand at playing a Lambeg drum during his visit to the parade.

He donned the huge historic instrument, with the straps over his shoulders, before taking up drumsticks and having a go.

A video of the moment has since been shared scores of times across social media.

The origins of the 17th century drum are not agreed upon, but it has become a key tradition in Orange parades, particularly in the Armagh area.

A spokesman for the Orange Order confirmed O’Driscoll was visiting the parade for a documentary he is making.

- Press Association


Related Articles

More in this Section

Declan Rice reported to be 'leaning towards' declaring for England

"These arguments happen all the time" - Meyler on Keane row

Watch the Mohamamd Salah effort which has been voted goal of the year!

Mohamed Salah wins FIFA goal of the year award but misses out on spot in World X1


Today's Stories

GPA playing a long game on professionalism

All the key trigger points blue

When a club folds, it diminishes us all

James Milner has more than stayed the distance

More From The Irish Examiner