DCSIMG

Business as usual on Lundy’s Day in Derry

The annual Apprentice Boys Lundy parade makes its way through New Gate on saturday as 2000 members of the organisation gathered to mark the shutting of the city's gates in 1688. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 1.12.12

The annual Apprentice Boys Lundy parade makes its way through New Gate on saturday as 2000 members of the organisation gathered to mark the shutting of the city's gates in 1688. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 1.12.12

Derry enjoyed “business as usual” as thousands took part in the annual Lundy’s Day demonstration in Derry on Saturday.

The parade passed off peacefully as many thousands of Christmas shoppers and Apprentice Boys shared the busy city centre.

Derry city centre traders’ representative Martin McCrossan said the staging of the annual event - which has traditionally been fraught with tension - “had no impact at all on business”.

During the ‘Troubles’ and in recent years many businesses chose to close their doors and pull down the shutters on Lundy’s Day but not this year.

“It was business as usual, all the shops remained open and everyone traded fairly well on Saturday,” Mr McCrossan added.

Mr McCrossan, who chairs the Derry City Centre Traders’ Forum, said he was delighted that the Apprentice Boys of Derry engaged with local traders and residents ahead of the traditionally controversial march.

“There’s been no negativity at all, it’s now a case of onwards and upwards for the future,” he said.

City Centre manager Jim Roddy said he received “no negative feedback” as a result of the staging of the demonstration. “In the last three years there has been no trouble and Saturday’s parade went off without any problems.”

Derry’s PSNI district commander, Steven Martin, said he was pleased at how peacefully the parade had passed off.

“Everybody acted in a respectful and adult way and, overall, we’re very pleased.

He added that it was unfortunate the PSNI still had to maintain a “very sizeable policing operation” for the event but he said he believed the situation was improving.

“I think there is less tension in the city this year and I note that some traders who traditionally would have closed for this parade have remained open.”

Mr Martin said there was a “nice atmosphere, with officers chatting to members of the public”.

The event marked the 324th Anniversary of the Shutting of the Gates of Derry against the advancing Jacobite forces during the Siege of December, 1688.

 

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