It’s has today been announced that the annual Relief of Londonderry parade in August has now officially been cancelled.
In a joint statement released by William Moore & Graeme Stenhouse, the General Secretary & Governor of the Apprentice boys of Derry , they announced:
“It is with great disappointment that the Officers of General Committee have taken the decision to cancel the annual procession to commemorate the Relief of Londonderry, scheduled to take place on Saturday 8th August 2020.
“Please be assured that we did not come to this decision lightly, however after liaising with key stakeholders and acknowledging the restrictions and advice offered by the First Minister, it became clear that as a responsible organisation we could not continue with our traditional parade during these unprecedented times.
“We understand that this news will be disappointing to many, however as the global Covid-19 pandemic persists, we believe we have an obligation and duty to protect the health and wellbeing of all members, band participants, visitors, traders and citizens.
“Despite the cancellation of the main procession, we hope to fulfil some of the traditions associated with the commemoration and ensure the 331st Anniversary of the Relief of Londonderry is remembered and recorded for posterity. The token observances will be communicated to those assisting with the proceedings, ensuring we remain within Government guidelines and procedures. Clubs are instructed to postpone all parades until further notice, however we do request that Branch Club Officers consider placing a floral tribute at their local War Memorial, to remember the sacrifice of the Defenders of Derry during the Great Siege and pay tribute to our Brethren who made the supreme sacrifice in all conflicts.
“Moving forward, the Apprentice Boys Association will continue to take great pride in showcasing our history and culture through the displays and exhibits in the Siege Museum and with the tireless work of the Brethren who manage the outreach vehicle. With your help and assistance, we plan to return next year, the centenary of Northern Ireland, with an exciting Maiden City Festival programme and with the largest and most spectacular celebratory procession that has ever taken place in the city of Londonderry.
“In concluding, the Officers and Members of General Committee convey our sincere and heartfelt sympathy to those Brethren who have sadly departed to greater glory during the past year. We remember especially those who have tragically succumbed to the corona virus and to members who have lost family and friends.
“We continue to hope and pray all members remain safe and healthy and kindly ask for your patience, understanding and continued support during these difficult times.