Thousands of loyalists to convene for 'Lundy's Day'
Thousands of loyalists will parade through Derry tomorrow prior to the traditional burning of an effigy of Colonel Robert Lundy in the city centre at the end of the Apprentice Boys' annual Shutting of the Gates commemorations.
The Apprentice Boys of Derry's Associated Club General Committee has informed the Parades Commission that it expects 20 bands and up to 3,000 Apprentice Boys and bandsmen to participate with a further 200 onlookers likely to line the route from the Waterside to the Memorial Hall in Society Street.
Each year, on the first Saturday of December, the Apprentice Boys gather en masse in the citytocommemorate the heroic actions of the 13 original apprentices who famously flung the gates of Derry in the face of King James II of England's men in December 1688.
Their rebellion marked the commencement of the Siege of Derry.
The commemorations commence at midnight tonight with the firing of a cannon on the Derry Walls.
Then, from 11.30 a.m tomorrow, thousands of Apprentice Boys and bandsmen will parade from the Waterside to the Memorial Hall prior to a service of thanksgiving in St. Columb's Cathedral.
The 'Shutting of the Gates' celebrations will be completed when an effigy of 'Lundy the Traitor' is burned in Bishop Street following the service.