Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Crowds gather in Derry and Belfast to mark funeral of Margaret Thatcher

Celebrations in Derry's Bogside on Wednesday night following the burial of Margaret Thatcher
Celebrations in Derry's Bogside on Wednesday night following the burial of Margaret Thatcher

Crowds have gathered in Derry and Belfast as part of black flag protests to mark the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Republicans gathered at Free Derry corner in the city's Bogside area earlier this evening.

Many of those turning up brandished black flags while others displayed images of those who died while on hunger strike during the Thatcher years.

An effigy of Mrs Thatcher was also set on fire during the gathering.

Mock champagne bottles and milk cartons were laid out alongside the cardboard effigy of a skeleton with the former prime minister's head on it.

Margaret Thatcher's funeral took place at St Paul's Cathedral in London earlier this afternoon.

A number of masked men also held aloft a banner depicting Baroness Thatcher and close friend Airey Neave, who was killed by an INLA car bomb in 1979.

Several of those present also waved banners of republican group the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

Meanwhile several white line and black flag protest have also taken place across Belfast.

Demonstrations took place in the north, east and west of the city this evening.

Sinn Fein MP for west Belfast, Paul Maskey, said the crowds had gathered to mark the "loss of loved ones throughout the conflict".

"There's a lot of people who have lost loved ones during the conflict. What we were doing today was to let people get out and demonstrate - it's about showing solidarity," he said.

"It was to remember the hunger strikers and those who died because of shoot-to-kill. We had a very, peaceful and dignified vigil. Ours was very peaceful."

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