13 August 2005

10,000 Apprentice Boys to parade


10,000 Apprentice Boys and 120 bands will march in Derry

The annual Apprentice Boys parade to commemorate the anniversary of the 1689 Siege of Derry is being held later.

It is Northern Ireland's biggest loyal order parade. About 10,000 Apprentice Boys accompanied by 120 bands will be on the march in Derry.

In the first parade local Apprentice Boys and three bands will walk the city's historic walls before a wreath laying ceremony in the Diamond.

The main demonstration will get under way in the afternoon.

It will last for several hours and will be preceded by a religious service and a pageant re-enacting the siege.

The parade has been relatively trouble free in recent years.

The police have said they will be visible on the ground and will have some areas in the city centre screened off to keep rival groups apart.

The loyal order commemorates the 13 apprentice boys who shut Derry's gates at the start of the siege by the troops of the Catholic King James II in December 1688.

The siege was finally lifted in the summer of 1689.

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