Northern Ireland news

Thousands attend annual Derry Apprentice Boys parade

Connla Young
15 August, 2016 01:00

THOUSANDS of members of the Apprentice Boys have taken part in the annual Relief of Derry parade through the city.

Catholic Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown was among those looking on as marchers made their way to the Diamond for a wreath-laying ceremony on Saturday before a service in St Columb's Church of Ireland Cathedral.

A local drama group also staged a re-enactment of the Siege of Derry before the main parade got under way.

Dr McKeown said it was important to greet people who visited the city.

“I wanted to come down to make sure people feel welcome here,” he told the Sunday Life

“To talk to the people who are here – the marchers, the marshals, the police – and to sense that lack of tension.”

Around 8,000 Apprentice Boys and 145 bands participated in the parade.

First Minister Arlene Foster was also in attendance.

Although the parade passed off peacefully, trouble did erupt in Derry on Friday night when up to 25 petrol bombs and fireworks were thrown at police attending a security alert.

The attacks began shortly after 11.30pm after officers went to the scene of a suspicious object at Butcher Gate.

No-one was injured during the trouble.

A police spokesman said: "Army Technical Officers attended and following a controlled explosion declared the object to be an elaborate hoax.

"During the clearance operation, a number of fireworks and 25 petrol bombs were thrown at police in the Fahan Street area of the city.

"It was reported that the windscreen in a van parked in Fahan Street was smashed shortly after midnight."

During the operation staff at the Maldron Hotel were advised to move people to a function room at the rear of the building.

15 August, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news

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