Letter: Behaviour at Apprentice Boys parade is nothing short of a disgrace

Letters to editor (Photo: JP)
Letters to editor (Photo: JP)

Undoubtedly the events of 1688-1689 in Londonderry are amongst the most memorable in the history of Ulster Protestantism.

Our forefathers endured the horrors of a 105-day siege in order to maintain and preserve the reformed and Protestant faith, not merely for themselves but for their posterity.

If Londonderry fell they knew that Ulster would sink in popish idolatry and superstition.

Having paraded the streets of Londonderry on Saturday with the Apprentice Boys I think it is fair to say that many of those in attendance (both participating and spectating) have very little appreciation for or understanding of the stand and sacrifice of our forefathers in those days.

The annual relief celebrations should be a time when we give thanks to God for such a remarkable deliverance.

Judging by the amount of alcohol being consumed by bandsmen, Apprentice Boys and spectators it seems many view the occasion as nothing more than an excuse for drunkenness and debauchery.

Given the magnitude of the events being commemorated, such behaviour is nothing short of a shame and disgrace.

Such revelry is an insult to the memory of the defenders of Londonderry and only serves to besmirch the Protestant cause.

Those who behave in such fashion are not Protestants, they are but apes of nationalists and republicans who disgrace themselves in like manner every year on March 17.

The leadership of the Apprentice Boys need to make it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated and such people are not welcome at future parades.

Richard Ferguson, Dollingstown