Apprentice Boys


Sir, – Freya McClements in Derry (“Derry’s Apprentice Boys braced for Brexit siege”, News, August 13th) quotes Monaghan native Davy Stewart’s opinions that it’s important to remember the past and that Derry’s victory over the besiegers was important for the freedoms and democracy we have today. I agree with him on both of these points.

Though James was not a usurper (as he is referred to elsewhere in the report), his Catholicism along with his authoritarianism were the causes of his expulsion. One of those in alliance with the gallant Prince William was the pope of the day. Unfortunately, this factor didn’t count with those who, after the war ended at Limerick, planted the seeds of our freedoms and democracy, but set about depriving “Papists” of the said freedoms.

Moreover, Derry eventually became, for decades, a glaring example of voting inequality along sectarian lines, in breach of modern democratic standards.

It is indeed important to remember the past – all of it – and how it led to present-day attitudes and institutions, as well as to such picturesque customs as the Apprentice Boys’ parades. – Yours, etc,