Lundy draws thousands to Londonderry

Jim Brownlee, right, Governor, and Graeme Stenhouse, Lieutenant Governor of the General Committee, pictured beside the effigy of Lundy. INLS4916-107KM
Jim Brownlee, right, Governor, and Graeme Stenhouse, Lieutenant Governor of the General Committee, pictured beside the effigy of Lundy. INLS4916-107KM

The crowds turned out in force for the annual Shutting of The Gates ceremony in Londonderry today.

A total of 26 bands and around 2,000 Apprentice Boys participated in the main parade this afternoon.

The parade was led by the Burntollet Sons of Ulster Flute Band.

There was also a thanksgiving service in St Columb’s Cathedral.

And of course, the day ended with a burning of an effigy of Lt Col Robert Lundy, known as Lundy the Traitor in Bishop Street.

This year the Apprentice Boys installed a new governor, Graeme Stenhouse, who is originally from Edinburgh.

He said he wanted to build on the work of his predecessors and ensure that the peaceful parading atmosphere in the city continues.

“As we have seen over the last few years, there is a greater atmosphere about the town especially in August and December,” he said.

“Something that we have noticed is that there are more and more people coming over to the Cityside to watch the parades.

“If you look at the money that is being brought into the city to hotels, restaurants etc, it is good for the local community that money is coming in and securing jobs as well.”

The Catholic Bishop of the city, Donal McKeown, attended the parade in Bishop Street at watched the burning of the effigy of Lundy.

The march commemorates 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.

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