Northern Ireland

Londonderry: Apprentice Boys mark St Patrick's Day with parade

The Apprentice Boys of Derry
Image caption The Apprentice Boys of Derry is an organisation set up to commemorate the Siege of Derry in August 1689

The Apprentice Boys of Derry have marked St Patrick's Day with a parade and church service in Londonderry.

The No Surrender Parent Club marched around the war memorial in the city before attending a service in St Columb's Church of Ireland Cathedral.

The march is held separately from the main St Patrick's Day parade in Derry.

A club spokesperson said it was a "possibility" that they could join the main event in future years, and said they would "consider" any invitation.

'Two cultures'

The Apprentice Boys of Derry is an organisation set up to commemorate the Siege of Derry in August 1689.

It is named in memory of 13 young apprentices - supporters of the Protestant King William III - who closed the gates of the walled city to stop the advancing army of the Catholic King James II.

The club decided to march this year after the success of their demonstration 12 months ago which marked their 150th anniversary.

Image caption Gordon Porter said his club would consider any future invitation to join the main parade "on merit"

After the parade, club spokesman Gordon Porter said: "St Patrick's Day, as you know, throughout the world is a celebration of the whole of Ireland.

"A major part of that story is the siege of Derry, which is what the association of the Apprentice Boys is all about, so it's only right that we are parading today.

"We can tell our story once again within the city of Londonderry, and it only bodes well for the city that two cultures can walk along beside each other."

When asked if the Apprentice Boys would join the main parade at any point in the future, Mr Porter said: "Possibly, in the future, there could be a situation where that might happen. If we get the invite, we'll take it on merit and we'll certainly look into that.

"At the minute we're quite happy to do this by ourselves but in the future it is a possibility," he added.

Related Topics

More on this story