Lundy's Day: Thousands attend 'peaceful' Londonderry parade

Marchers A PSNI commander said the annual parade had passed off peacefully

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Several thousand people have attended the Lundy's Day parade in Londonderry, which has passed without incident.

The annual event commemorates the 17th century siege of the city and is organised the Apprentice Boys of Derry

In keeping with tradition, the ceremony ended with the burning of an effigy of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Lundy - the man known as Lundy the Traitor.

Derry's PSNI district commander, Steven Martin, said he was pleased at how peacefully the parade had passed off.

"Everybody has acted in a respectful and adult way and, overall, we're very pleased and we're pleased with the policing operation as well," Chief Superintendent Martin said.

'Less tension'

He added that it was unfortunate the PSNI still had to maintain a "very sizable policing operation" for the event but he said he believed the situation was improving.

"I think there is less tension in the city this year and I note that some traders who traditionally would have closed for this parade have remained open."

Mr Martin said there was a "nice atmosphere, with officers chatting to members of the public".

The governor of the Apprentice Boys, Jim Brownlee, had also said he wanted to see a peaceful day where all cultures treated each other with "respect".

He said it was the "most important day in the Apprentice Boys' calendar".

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

The marchers commemorate an event known as the Shutting of the Gates - when 13 apprentices locked the walled city's gates against the approaching army of the Catholic King James II in December 1688.

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.

'Buoyant'

More the 300 years on from the siege, his name is still associated with those viewed as having betrayed the unionist cause.

The Apprentice Boys said their organisation remained buoyant, with the formation of eight new clubs in the last year.

They include three in Northern Ireland, three in Scotland, one in Canada and one in County Leitrim in the Republic of Ireland.

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