Irish Republican News · January 30, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Scottish Bloody Sunday march banned

A Bloody Sunday commemoration march due to take place in Scotland on Saturday has been banned for the second year running after fears of a loyalist attack. The West of Scotland Bands Alliance organises the main Scottish Bloody Sunday commemoration march every year.

John Watson, secretary of the organising committee, said police had claimed that there would be public order problems at the march, which was to include five bands. Mr Watson said there were fears that those taking part would be attacked by loyalists.

He said loyalists living in the area had been given permission to hold approximately 300 marches in the last year.

Lanarkshire Council member member David Saunders said the council had to consider the right to march against the right of the public to have access to Wishaw village centre.

``The sub-committee heard also the views of the police on the likelihood of serious public disorder and threat to public safety and the submission of the police, on that basis, that the proposed procession should not proceed,'' he said.

John Kelly, whose brother Michael was one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, condemned the decision.

``Bloody Sunday is commemorated in a peaceful way all over the world. There is no reason why it shouldn't be in Scotland,'' he said.

Mr Kelly said the planned Scottish march was to have been a low-key affair. The Bloody Sunday campaigner said action should have been taken against anyone who set out to attack the event.

``This ban is, to say the least, ludicrous. It is wrong that people cannot demonstrate their support for the families back here,'' he said.

Mr Kelly said relatives of the Bloody Sunday dead had taken part in parades in Scotland in the past and had experienced no serious problems.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News