Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Terrorist outfits and emblems banned from Derrylin republican commemoration

A hunger strike commemoration taking place in Londonderry in 2011
A hunger strike commemoration taking place in Londonderry in 2011

Restrictions have been placed on a highly contentious republican commemoration, with paramilitary clothing and emblems banned.

More than 10,000 people are expected to take part in this Sunday's event to mark the 1981 hunger strike in which 10 republicans died, including Bobby Sands.

Sinn Fein, who organised the march in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, has been accused of lacking leadership and pandering to dissident republicans.

Relatives of IRA victims are furious the event is to go ahead.

The Parades Commission yesterday placed a number of restrictions on the commemoration.

It said it had heard concerns the event had "caused offence and led to a reopening of painful and traumatic memories for individuals who suffered bereavement within the vicinity of Derrylin".

The body said Sinn Fein had vowed to manage images and symbols at the parade. The commission said no paramilitary-style clothing is to be worn and no flags or banners relating to proscribed organisations can be used.

Dianne Woods – a niece of UDR man Thomas Bullock (53), who was gunned down along with his wife Emily (50) in 1972 – said the parade was "stomach-churning".

She said: "I feel like we have been let down. This parade is ridiculous. My blood is boiling."

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