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Apprentice Boys’ Lundy Day parade takes place in Derry

An effigy of Colonel Robert Lundy is burnt following the Apprentice Boys' parade in Londonderry. Credit: UTV

The annual Apprentice Boys' Lundy Day parade has taken place in Londonderry.

The event commemorates the start of the seventeenth century siege of Derry and is at the heart of the Apprentice Boys' organisation.

It looks back more than 300 years to celebrate the moment when 13 young apprentices shut the city's gates to keep out the army of the Catholic king, James II.

It led to a siege that would last for 105 days and cost the lives of thousands.

The last major Apprentice Boys' parade in the city was mired in controversy when a visiting band wore Parachute Regiment emblems in support of a soldier accused of murder on Bloody Sunday.

Saturday however, was a parade free from tension or confrontation.

“Much hard work has gone into the last 20 years to ensure that we have our correct right to parade in the Maiden City, and we hope that work will continue for many years to come and we will be able to celebrate our culture and history in the proper manner.”

– Graeme Stenhouse, Apprentice Boys' Governor

Graeme Stenhouse, Apprentice Boys' Governor told UTV: “This is the most significant day of our calendar, this is why we were formed to remember and commemorate the actions of these 13 brave men.

“We always appeal to our members to remember it is a nationalist city, to come to Londonderry to conduct themselves in the proper manner and in the proper decorum.”

Two and a half thousand members of the Apprentice Boys paraded from the Waterside, across Craigavon Bridge and through the gates of the ancient City Walls that were defended by the original apprentice boys.

The climax was the traditional burning of an effigy of Colonel Robert Lundy - a military commander reviled as a traitor to the city's inhabitants during the great siege.