DUP TO MEET PARADES COMMISSION OVER IRA COMMEMORATION

Unionists object to the 'Tyrone Volunteer Commemoration' to be held in Castlederg

Unionists object to the ‘Tyrone Volunteer Commemoration’ to be held in Castlederg

THE DUP is to meet with the Parades Commission on Tuesday to voice their opposition to a forthcoming Provisional IRA commemoration.

The meeting comes amid calls for the event which unionists have branded as a “glorification of terrorists” to be banned.

The annual event, called the Tyrone Volunteer Commemoration, takes place next Sunday in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

It is held to remember the republican dead of the county.

The main speak with will be Sinn Fein MLA and Policing Board member Gerry Kelly.

The commemoration will mark the deaths of IRA men Seamus Harvey and Gerard McGlynn, who died in 1973 when the car bomb they were transporting detonated early.

However, a victims group in Castlederg has applied to the Parades Commission to hold a protest on the same day, August 11.

Among the DUP delegation to meet the Parades Commission are West Tyrone MLA Thomas Buchanan and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster along with other local councillors.

Mr Buchanan said: “This event is obnoxious and grossly offensive. This is not a cultural display it is a glorification of terrorism.

“Twenty-eight innocent people were murdered by terrorists in the Castlederg area.

“The moral equivalence of this event would be for Islamist extremists to hold a similar event in London on July 7. Such an event would be met with outrage.

“The innocent victims of Castlederg, many of whom have never received justice, should not be expected to accept PIRA terrorists being glorified and hailed as heroes.”

The Provisional IRA memorial to two republicans blown up by their own bomb 40 years ago

The Provisional IRA memorial to two republicans blown up by their own bomb 40 years ago

Mr Buchanan said he has also written to PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott regarding the commemoration.

He called for Sinn FĂ©in MLA Gerry Kelly to “recognise its offensive nature” and withdraw from the “provocative event”.

Castlederg UUP Councillor Derek Hussey called for the parade to be banned.

“It has been suggested that The Parades Commission cannot ban but only place restrictions on events,” he commented.

“I believe the Parades Commission, if it has any morality, ought to place a complete restriction on this event.

“If Commissioners are not in a position to do so they should refer the issue to the Chief Constable and Secretary of State immediately as there is no doubt that they retain such powers.”

 

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