REVEALED: UDR LODGE TELLS UNION FLAG ORGANISERS: DON’T CANCEL PROTEST

Ulster Defenders of the Realm 710 say Union flag protest should go ahead

Ulster Defenders of the Realm 710 say Union flag protest should go ahead

EXCLUSIVE: ORGANISERS of a UDR commemoration parade to two murdered colleagues have told Union flag protestors not to cancel a rally on Saturday.

DUP and UUP leaders Peter Robinson and Mike Nesbitt on Tuesday called on those behind the Union flag rally on Saturday to Belfast City Hall to postpone it.

They didn’t want it clashing with the UDR commemoration parade on the 25th anniversary of the IRA murder of two privates in Royal Avenue in Belfast City Centre.

The anniversary parade is being organised by the Ulster Defenders of the Realm 710 Orange Order Lodge.

It is made up of former soldiers who were members of the 7/10 UDR or ‘City of Belfast’ Battlion.

Privates James Cummings and Fred Starrett were killed on February 24, 1988 in an IRA bomb attack in Royal Avenue.

A 200 lb remote control bomb, hidden behind construction hoardings, was detonated the as the two UDR soldiers manned a security gate in Royal Avenue.

Belfast Daily understands that organisers of both parades have held a meeting to discuss Saturday’s events.

The meeting, said to have been held at a “secret location”, was held on Monday night to discuss political overtures in the background for the Union flag protest to be halted.

A source close to the discussions told Belfast Daily: “The organisers of UDR parade told the Union flag protestors to go ahead with their parade on Saturday.

“Basically for two reasons. Firstly, the times for the two parades don’t clash.

“And secondly they say that it is more than just a flag issue. Now its the entire system they are complaining about – government, political and legal.”

The UDR commemoration parade leaves Lagan Valley Rangers Supporters Club in east Belfast at 9.15 am.

It is expected to arrive in Royal Avenue by 11 am for a short commemoration before the return leg starts at 11.45 am.

According to a Parades Commission determination, the parade will arrive back in east Belfast by 12.30pm.

Around 1,000 people will be taking part, along with five bands and 250 supporters.

The Commission determination said no provocative music is to be played as it passes St Matthews Parish Church and no paramilitary uniforms to be worn or paramilitary flags to be carried.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt calls for parade to be scrapped

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt calls for parade to be scrapped

Earlier on Tuesday UUP leader Mike Nesbitt had appealed to organisers to call off this Saturday’s flag protest in Belfast city centre.

Mr Nesbitt said: “I understand over 1,000 people will take part in the parade to commemorate James and Fred who were members of the Ulster Defence Regiment deployed to protect the building site that was to become Castlecourt Shopping Centre.

“Given the cost of the flags protests, it would be regrettable if those involved did not take the opportunity to step back to allow the media to highlight how republicans once stopped at nothing to pursue their economic war against Northern Ireland, irrespective of the cost in terms of human lives or impact on the economy,” he said.

“The cost of the current protests cannot be justified, but are as nothing to the equally unjustifiable cost of the Troubles.”

Mr Nesbitt also made an appeal to the organisers of the weekly flag protests.

“I appeal to people like Jamie Bryson to use their influence to call off Saturday’s protest and leave the streets clear for the parade in commemoration of Privates Cummings and Starrett.

“I further call, as I have since the first week of December last, for the flags protests to move off the streets.

“It is clear to all that the issues go far beyond the union flag, and I repeat my invitation to Mr Bryson and his colleagues to engage with the Unionist Forum, which offers an unique opportunity to air their grievances with the realistic hope of redress.”

However, Jamie Bryson of the Ulster People’s Forum said he had no power to call off the parade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is deeply regrettable that today’s match at Seaview was postponed.

A lot of work had gone on between the two clubs, fans representatives, local residents and the police in order to allow the match to go ahead in a peaceful atmosphere.

Unfortunately this afternoon’s events have disrupted this good work and spoiled what should have been simply a great top-of-the-table match for football supporters to enjoy. Football is the biggest loser today.

Our local Councillor Guy Spence was present on the ground, along with Councillor Lydia Patterson and other community representatives, trying to help keep the situation as calm and peaceful as possible. This was because of the previous history of difficulties caused by a small number of Cliftonville fans walking down Skegoneill Avenue behaving badly and offensively towards local residents.

There is video evidence of police acting aggressively towards Councillor Spence and of him being struck by police. Others who also tried to help have complained of police heavy handed tactics and needless aggression by TSG police officers.

We will be following these issues up with police urgently this evening and in the coming days.”

Councillor Spence added:
“I was present throughout the afternoon on the Shore Road in order to try to ensure that there was no trouble and that things would remain as calm as possible. When police were pushing people back I was struck by a police baton as I tried to lift a lady, who had fallen, back onto her feet. I was also struck by one police officer as I tried to speak to the police inspector after the arrest of a local community worker.”

 

“It is deeply regrettable that today’s match at Seaview was postponed.

A lot of work had gone on between the two clubs, fans representatives, local residents and the police in order to allow the match to go ahead in a peaceful atmosphere.

Unfortunately this afternoon’s events have disrupted this good work and spoiled what should have been simply a great top-of-the-table match for football supporters to enjoy. Football is the biggest loser today.

Our local Councillor Guy Spence was present on the ground, along with Councillor Lydia Patterson and other community representatives, trying to help keep the situation as calm and peaceful as possible. This was because of the previous history of difficulties caused by a small number of Cliftonville fans walking down Skegoneill Avenue behaving badly and offensively towards local residents.

There is video evidence of police acting aggressively towards Councillor Spence and of him being struck by police. Others who also tried to help have complained of police heavy handed tactics and needless aggression by TSG police officers.

We will be following these issues up with police urgently this evening and in the coming days.”

Councillor Spence added:
“I was present throughout the afternoon on the Shore Road in order to try to ensure that there was no trouble and that things would remain as calm as possible. When police were pushing people back I was struck by a police baton as I tried to lift a lady, who had fallen, back onto her feet. I was also struck by one police officer as I tried to speak to the police inspector after the arrest of a local community worker.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share |


14 Responses to REVEALED: UDR LODGE TELLS UNION FLAG ORGANISERS: DON’T CANCEL PROTEST

FacebookTwitter
BD TV
Email Us