Bringing thousands to Derry for parade ‘irresponsible’, say Apprentice Boys

The Apprentice Boys will, for the second year running, host scaled-back ‘Relief of Derry’ celebrations in Derry because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

An Apprentice Boys march in Derry.
An Apprentice Boys march in Derry.

Saturday’s 332nd anniversary events in the city will include a parade - but it will be nowhere near as big as in pre-pandemic years.

Earlier this week, the organisation’s General Committee confirmed it had cancelled the “usual invite” to branch clubs and bands to attend this year’s ‘Relief’ celebrations.

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A spokesperson said: “As the United Kingdom struggles to overcome the ongoing virus, and the death and illness it has caused amongst all communities, it would be selfish of General Committee to expect our members and friends to travel to the Maiden City for the customary celebrations. We are reminded that we all have a part to play in keeping others safe. Bringing thousands to the streets of Londonderry in current circumstances would be irresponsible.”

Saturday’s events will include a circuit of the City Walls by parent clubs and bands (11am), a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in the Diamond (11.30am) while the main parade, from Society St. to the Waterside and back again, will get underway at 12.30pm.