Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein call for removal of 'Soldier F' banner from Northern Ireland railway station

The banner has been erected in Coleraine.
The banner has been erected in Coleraine.

A Sinn Fein MLA has called for a banner in support of 'Soldier F' to be removed from Coleraine Railway Station.

Caoimhe Archibald said that the "offensive banner" which says 'Coleraine supports Soldier F'  had been erected in the vicinity of the station.

'Soldier F' is accused of the murders of William McKinney and James Wray in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday.

He has also been accused of the attempted murder of four civil rights protesters, Patrick O'Donnell, Michael Quinn, Joseph Friel and Joseph Mahon on January 30 1972.

East Londonderry MLA Archibald said that the erection of the banner was "concerning".

“This is close to shopping centres, car parks and other amenities which are used by people from across the community and visitors to the north coast," she said.

“We are due to welcome thousands of visitors to The Open which is due to be held in Portrush next month and this is not the inclusive welcoming image we want to be projecting.

“This banner will cause distress not only to the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday and those killed by the parachute regiment in Ballymurphy but also other victims of state violence.

“It should be removed immediately.”

It emerged on Monday that Soldier F is expected to appear at Derry Magistrates Court in August.

Killed: James Wray (left) and William McKinney
Killed: James Wray (left) and William McKinney

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has confirmed the plan in a letter to relatives of those allegedly shot by the former paratrooper.

It was announced in March that Soldier F would be the only member of the armed forces to face prosecution for his actions that day.

Since the announcement that Soldier F would be prosecuted banners in support have appeared in loyalist areas across Northern Ireland.

Thirteen people were killed in Derry on Bloody Sunday and a 14th victim died of related injuries months later.

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