Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein demand answers as band march in Apprentice Boys parade 'wearing Soldier F symbols' - Saoradh erect banner

Saoradh protest on Shipquay Street Derry against the Apprentice Boys parade on the Derry Walls. Picture Trevor McBride.
Saoradh protest on Shipquay Street Derry against the Apprentice Boys parade on the Derry Walls. Picture Trevor McBride.
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

A Sinn Fein councillor has called for answers after claiming a band was allowed to march in the annual Apprentice Boys parade wearing "symbols relating to Soldier F".

Christopher Jackson said that it was unacceptable that a flute band were allowed to march through Londonderry wearing the symbols.

Soldier F has been charged with the murders of two men and the attempted murders of four others in Derry on Bloody Sunday.

He is set to appear at court in the city next month.

“The PSNI and the organisers must explain why, after giving an assurance that no provocative symbols would not be tolerated, this band were allowed to march in the parade," Councillor Jackson said.

“This is a deliberate attempt to stir up tension and to hurt the families of the Bloody Sunday victims.

“Sinn Fein will be raising this incident with the Parades Commission and the police to ensure it does not happen again.”

Dissident republican group Saoradh held a protest during prade.

Members of the group erected a 'No Sectarian Parades' banner on Londonderry's Shipquay Street, yards from the main parade route.

Saoradh have been named by police as the political wing of the New IRA.

Apprentice Boys march on the Derry Walls, Saturday 10th August 2019. Picture Trevor McBride
Apprentice Boys march on the Derry Walls, Saturday 10th August 2019. Picture Trevor McBride

The New IRA accepted responsibility for the murder of writer Lyra McKee in the city during a riot in the Creggan area in April.

Thousands of Apprentice Boys marched through the city to commemorate the ending of the siege of Derry in August 1689.

The event is known as the 'Relief of Derry' parade.

Despite a heavy police presence in the area and the Saoradh protest the event passed off largely without incident.

A 21-year-old man was arrested in the Ferryquary Street area of the city after being involved in an "altercation" with marchers during the parade.

As part of the parade Apprentice Boys members marched around Derry's Walls and laid a wreath at the cenotaph in the Diamond area of the city.

The PSNI and Apprentice Boys of Derry have been contacted in relation to Councillor Jackson's comments.

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