Rain does not dampen Closing of the Gates event

The Apprentice Boys of Derry annual Lundy's Day Parade ''Star of the Roe, Limavady
The Apprentice Boys of Derry annual Lundy's Day Parade ''Star of the Roe, Limavady

Neither Storm Desmond nor a pair of security alerts dampened the spirits of the Apprentice Boys at their annual Lundy’s Day parade in Londonderry at the weekend.

Around 1,500 people took part in Saturday’s march, which commemorated the 17th century siege of the city.

Apprentice Boys of Derry Annual Lundy's Day Parade: ''Burntollet Sons of Ulster Band

Apprentice Boys of Derry Annual Lundy's Day Parade: ''Burntollet Sons of Ulster Band

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

Afterwards, in keeping with tradition, an effigy of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lundy – known as Lundy the Traitor – was burned.

The weather nearly thwarted tradition when Apprentice Boys officials struggled to get a sodden effigy of Lundy to burn in Bishop Street – although eventually the flames did take hold.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton said: “It was a very peaceful day as usual and bands made their way to St Columb’s Cathedral where there was a service of worship.

“There was an expectation of 30 bands and they were there in spite of the weather, however it did seem to stop people watching from the pavements.”

On Facebook the Apprentice Boys’ Corcreeney Branch, Baker Club, posted: “The club had a great day in Londonderry at the Closing of the Gates parade as we remember the deeds done by the Brave 13 who closed the gates of the city in the faces of James’ rebel army.

“Despite a terrible day weather-wise there was an excellent turnout and a good day was had by all.”

Meanwhile, a republican protest – focusing on Maghaberry prison – took place as the Apprentice Boys parade moved through the city centre.

Whilst the parades passed peacefully, the day was somewhat marred by the security alerts located on the Waterside, which police announced at around 3.30pm (see opposite page).

. A video of the Apprentice Boys’ Parade is available on www.newsletter.co.uk.

. For more details of bad weather in the Province, see page 5.