Irish Republican News · February 7, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: PSNI not invited to St Patrick’s Day parade
PSNI not invited to St Patrick’s Day parade

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A decision not to include the PSNI police in this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in New York has been welcomed by US-based republicans.

The decision follows outrage over the force’s inclusion last year. Among those who marched last year were former RUC individuals suspected of engaging in collusion with loyalists.

Prominent republican Martin Galvin, an aide to the parade’s Grand Marshall Cardinal Timothy Dolan, said that the PSNI was not invited to take part in this year’s event.

Last year the PSNI approached organisers for permission to take part in the parade and was turned down following a grassroots campaign against their inclusion. Mr Galvin said that decision was reversed only after the intervention of the Dublin government and senior members of Sinn Fein.

He condemned the PSNI as unacceptable. “They can arrest [republican veterans] Gerry McGeough, Ivor Bell and Seamus Kearney but they can’t arrest anybody for Bloody Sunday,” he said.

“I don’t believe the PSNI should ever be in the St Patrick’s Day parade. That year and every year there will be ‘England get out of Ireland’ banners.”

LOVE ULSTER 2?

Meanwhile, loyalists are planning to stage another sectarian parade through Dublin city centre later this month in a rerun of the ‘Love Ulster’ event in 2006, when a major riot erupted on the streets of Ireland’s capital.

Prominent loyalist lobbyist Willie Frazer will meet gardai on Monday to discuss the route of the parade, which he said will take place on a Saturday and will go from O’Connell street to Leinster House, on Kildare Street.

Frazer said the majority of people in Dublin were “not interested one way or the other. Unfortunately there will be a section there who will try to stir it up.”

In 2006, fourteen people were hospitalised when the then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell backed Frazer’s Union Jack-waving supporters, including ‘Kick the Pope’ flute bands, to march down O’Connell Street. Local youths reacted instinctively, resulting in one of the most intense riots Dublin has witnessed in recent decades and forcing the parade to be abandoned at an early stage.

Mr Frazer said this march would not be a repeat of what happened in 2006.

“There will be a few bands but they will not be playing any sectarian tunes. There will be not paramilitary trappings, or sectarian slogans shouted.”

On Monday, Fianna Fail councillor Jim O’Callaghan tabled a motion at Monday’s meeting of Dublin City Council in a bid to have the march blocked. He described plans for another march as provocative and unnecessary.

“By organising a march to the centre of Dublin, Willie knows that what he is really trying to do is to provoke,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone also called for the march to be cancelled.

“Dubliners will remember the absolute chaos that unfolded on our streets, at a cost to both the taxpayer and the city’s reputation, in 2006,” she said.

© 2015 Irish Republican News