In 1688, the gates of Londonderry where slammed shut, as King James II and his Jacobite army who had fled from England to Ireland, approached the garrison (Maiden) city, to take it for themselves.

Unbeknown to the 13 Apprentice Boys, their actions that day in the face of the tyrant King James, would give birth to a spirit of Ulster resistance, that would exist for centuries to come, and give birth to the term which has often been used to describe the treacherous and traitorous throughout our history, “LUNDY”.

For 105 days Londonderry withstood the siege of King James and his forces, as cannon fire, famine and disease blighted the city.

Surrounded by the enemy and with his own nefarious intentions at heart, the City’s Governor, Colonel Robert Lundy, made an illicit approach to the Jacobite Army.

Lundy was prepared to betray the Protestants of Londonderry; he was willing to make a deal to surrender to the oppressors, knowing full well that his treacherous agenda would be fulfilled, and Londonderry would be lost!

This act of betrayal, lead to Lundy’s  downfall, and soon the outraged people of Londonderry, let their voices be heard.

As one, they refused to accept Lundy’s deal, and forced him to flee to Scotland under the cover of darkness, where he was later arrested.

On that day, in defiance, a blood stained flag was hoisted above the City, by Lundy’s replacement, Colonel John Mitchelburne.

And thus, our famous battle cry was born, “NO SURRENDER.”

With every moment of darkness in history, a light eventually shines bright, 105 days after the siege began, the Mountjoy, Dartmouth, Phoenix and Jerusalem broke the boom across the river Foyle, and the Williamite Army freed the City of Londonderry.

The victory itself was one of the most important events of the Williamite War and the Glorious Revolution, for had it been a defeat, the democracy which we value today may never have existed.

Fast forward 332 years, and Northern Ireland faces a similar siege with uncanny similarities.

Albeit, unlike the siege of Derry, the battle fought today is purely political and peaceful means of activism must always be observed.

The oppressors of the European Union and the tyrants of the Irish Government, wish to lay Northern Ireland to siege, by blocking trade, medicines, raw materials and denying equal citizenship within the United Kingdom.

For many the Northern Ireland Protocol is viewed and rightly so, as an underhanded tactic to damage East / West relations, between ourselves and the rest of the United Kingdom, whilst slowly changing Northern Ireland’s economic position in favour of a North South / all Ireland economy.

A subtle but obvious strategy to eventually achieve the long term goal of Republicanism, unification between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

A deal supported by our own Lundy, Boris Johnson.

In many ways, the Williamite Wars and the Glorious Revolution are reflective of today’s battle against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Glorious Revolution itself was in earnest about establishing civil and religious liberties for all, democracy and parliamentary sovereignty.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is in direct conflict with both democracy and sovereignty, breaking the Belfast Agreement, the Act Of Union, and removing cross community consent mechanisms agreed in 1998 for the purpose of a shared and fair Northern Ireland.

Something in time that will come back to haunt many of those who are currently championing the Northern Ireland Protocol and mocking those who oppose it.

The most concerning chapter of the NI Protocol saga, is the threat of Republican violence prevailing over democracy.

Nowhere else in a western society, or indeed globally, would this scenario be acceptable. It’s not acceptable in Afghanistan it’s not acceptable in Northern Ireland.

Had this happened in Latin America, Africa or in the Middle East, the global super powers that be, would have already assembled their armies to intervene.

Our country is being held to ransom by two parliaments, in Brussels and Dublin, both playing with peace, neither being elected in the United Kingdom, and neither holding any sovereign rights.

Their aggression and persistence is undoing the very fabric of democracy and demolishing the foundations of the Glorious Revolution from over 300 years ago.

Just like they did in 1688, today’s citizens are outraged and completely reject the deal. A deal which has been done without input or scrutiny, agreed by the EU/Irish Government and Boris Johnson, who for his own self interest and nefarious agenda has relinquished his previous promises to his fellow British Citizens and overlooked a legislative assembly and the voters who put them there. 

In 1688, the deal affected only the Protestant people of Londonderry, today in 2021 we are all besieged by the NI Protocol.

Many people don’t realise the implications and the real danger the Protocol poses, to not only democracy but also the rising cost of living, hikes in consumer goods, raw materials and for many in Northern Ireland, a rise in debt.

There is no best of both worlds scenario, and any attempt to play down the economic disaster which looms is a stubborn ill-advised message to the citizens of Northern Ireland.  Those who asked for the rigorous implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, now find themselves on the wrong side of history, as was King James II.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is undoubtedly detrimental to the material well being of our country, and most importantly, to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland.

In closing, our Lundy is Boris Johnson, our boom is the Irish Sea Border, our siege is the Northern Ireland Protocol and our cry remains ‘No Surrender’.

The spirit of the Brave 13 is in us all.

We share a defiance, a determination and a willingness to hold out for our very own Mountjoy, Dartmouth, Phoenix and Jerusalem to break the boom across the Irish Sea.