Apprentice Boys flock to city for '˜Shutting of the Gates' ceremony

Hundreds of Apprentice Boys marched through the streets of Londonderry on Saturday to mark the annual burning of Lundy.

Sunday, 4th December 2016, 1:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:41 pm
The head of the parade on Saturday. INLS4916-108KM

The traditional event commemorates the anniversary of the shutting of the gates before the Siege of Derry in 1689.

Participants, accompanied by 29 bands, paraded through the city centre before an effigy of Lt Col Robert Lundy, known as Lundy the Traitor, was burned in Bishop Street.

PSNI Ch Insp Alan Hutton said there was one arrest in relation to disorderly behaviour but added that the day passed off without major incident.

He also praised the “tremendous work that goes on over a long period of time and achieves very positive results”.

Apprentice Boys Governor Jim Brownee told the News Letter: “The day went better than expected; in fact it was almost faultless.

“It is hard to judge how many people were there but I would say at least 2,500.

“I want to pour praise on the marshalls, who did an excellent job.”

Mr Brownlee said the large number of spectators would undoubtedly have yielded a “positive economic impact” for the city.

He added that the annual parade now has a reputation for being a family friendly event.

Mr Brownlee said: “It was once portrayed as a sectarian event, but that is no longer the case.

“People from all walks of life can come along and have an enjoyable time.”