14/08/2019

Unionist Leaders Must Condemn 'Goading Of Victims'- SF

Sinn Fein has called on unionist leaders to condemn the appearance of emblems supporting Soldier F and the Parachute Regiment in a parade in L'Derry on Saturday.

A loyalist flute band from Larne paraded through the city with a Parachute Regiment symbol on their uniforms, while DUP representatives were reported to have posed under a banner for the regiment.

The Clyde Valley Flute Band was flanked by police officers during the Apprentice Boys parade, in an attempt to keep the peace.

A row has since erupted over the incident, with many perceiving it as a show of support for Soldier F- a veteran currently facing prosecution for two murders and four attempted murders on Bloody Sunday in L'Derry in January 1972.

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill said the actions constitute the "deliberate goading of victims" and called on unionist representatives to condemn the behaviour.
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The mid Ulster MLA said: "The inclusion of Soldier F and British Army Paratrooper emblems have been seen in Derry as a deliberate attempt to goad and antagonise the Bloody Sunday families.

"However, instead of confronting this mocking of victims, both main unionist parties have sought to deflect and criticise the policing operation instead.

"Once again that is an abdication of leadership from the DUP and the UUP. Instead of defending disrespect and pandering to the lowest common denominator they should come out and clearly condemn this deliberate goading of victims."

The DUP and UUP both met PSNI officials on Tuesday to discuss the police operation, expressing concerns over the approach taken towards the band, which was stopped when it attempted to leave the city on a bus.

The Apprentice Boys have issued a statement in recognition of the potential to cause upset among the nationalist community.



(JG)

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