Northern Ireland

Apprentice Boys mark Siege of Derry with parade

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Media captionAn effigy of Lundy was burned following the parade

About 1,500 people have taken part in the Apprentice Boys' annual Lundy's Day parade in Londonderry.

The event commemorated the 17th century siege of the city.

Accompanied by about 30 bands, the marchers made their way through the city centre.

Afterwards, in keeping with tradition, an effigy of Lt Col Robert Lundy, known as Lundy the Traitor, was burned. The parade passed without incident.

Image caption An effigy of 'Lundy the traitor' is burned every year

Apprentice Boys' governor Jim Brownlee said adverse weather conditions had not affected the turnout.

"It's the most important day in the Apprentice Boys calendar - the 327th anniversary of something that changed the course of European history," he said.

"It's something that people look forward to every year, regardless of the weather which hasn't been too kind to us today."

Mr Brownlee said he believed that in the city, "there's now a greater respect and understanding of what we do".

"The younger generation that's coming through, we'll seek to reach out to them and allow them to gain that same understanding so they can grow up in a society that's tolerant," he said.

Ch Insp Tony Callaghan said it had been "another successful day for parading in Londonderry.

"Derry city has worked very hard in making sure that parading is a success, and I'd like to pay tribute to those who worked hard behind the scenes - community groups, the Apprentice Boys, as well as traders and the city centre manager - to make today a successful event."

Image caption The parade marked the 327th anniversary of the Siege of Derry
Image caption Organisers said the turnout was not affected by adverse weather conditions

The Siege of Derry lasted 105 days and more than 10,000 people died, 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.

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

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