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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Nationalist concern over marches
Apprentice Boys in Derry
Nationalists have concerns about parades before the march in Derry
Nationalists in Londonderry have voiced concerns about several feeder parades taking place before the main Apprentice Boys demonstration in the city.

The Bogside Residents Group have described marches in Maghera and Castlederg as "coat-trailing exercises".

Apprentice Boys in Castlederg have said they have a right to celebrate their culture and heritage in the town.

The Londonderry parade is to be held on Saturday 12 August.

Sinn Fein councillor Charlie McHugh said there was no need for the demonstrations to take place.

"In order to go to Derry, a good 45 minutes from Castlederg, they actually form up at the southern most end of Castlederg," he said.

"(They) parade through the town centre and travel westward in order to flaunt their flags through an area where they are not welcome."

Ulster Unionist Assembly member Derek Hussey said the Apprentice Boys have traditionally held a parade in Castlederg before going to the main demonstration in Londonderry.

Derek Hussey, UUP
Derek Hussey said the parade in Castlederg has always taken place

"I am absolutely aghast that the Bogside Residents Group is concerning itself with events outside Londonderry," he said.

"We in Castlederg are celebrating our heritage, we don't see why the residents group should be concerning itself with issues within our community."

The Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry commemorates the actions of Protestant Apprentice Boys who shut the city gates against the forces of the Catholic King James in December 1688.

King James laid siege to the city from December to August 1689 until the Protestant forces of King William of Orange relieved the city.

Watch a report by Keiron Tourish

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