Thousands march for Lundy’s Day

The effigy is set alight at the Lundy's Day parade in Londonderry on Saturday afternoon last. DER4818GS054
The effigy is set alight at the Lundy's Day parade in Londonderry on Saturday afternoon last. DER4818GS054

Thousands turned out to celebrate the Shutting of the Gates and the burning of the effigy of the traitor Lundy in Londonderry today.

Apprentice Boys from all over Northern Ireland as well as guests from England, Scotland and Canada were in the city for the parade, held on the first Saturday in December each year.

Although the day got off to a damp start, the weather was kinder for the return parade to the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall in Society Street inside the city’s historic walls.

The parade marked 330th anniversary of when 13 Apprentices shutting the city’s gates on the advancing Jacobite army in 1688.

The Governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, Graeme Stenhouse, said it was an historic occasion.

“We had 23 bands coming here for the parades and in excess of 2,000 Apprentice Boys from all over Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and even Canada came today,” he said.

“It was an historic occasion as it was the 330th anniversary of the shutting of the gates in December 1688.

“This year we are also taking time to remember, on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in 1918, the sacrifices that were paid on the battlefields of Europe.”

Participating bands included the Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band, South Belfast Protestant Boys Flute, Burntollet Sons of Ulster Flute Band, William King Memorial Flute Band, Dungiven Crown Defenders Flute Band, Pride of the Orange and Blue Flute Band, Glendermott Valley Flute Band and the North Ballymena Protestant Boys Flute Band.

Chief Inspector Jonny Hunter of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said iIt was another successful Lundy parade.

“There’s no doubt about it, there’s great value in listening to each other, engaging early on and working together to solve issues before the become a problem,” he said.

Lt Col Robert Lundy, who once held the title of governor of Derry, gained his reputation for treachery among unionists due to his offer to surrender to the Jacobite army five months later.

The Siege of Derry lasted 105 days and cost over 10,000 lives, the majority of them civilians.