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Basque solidarity protest held at Free Derry Wall

�gra Shinn F�in activists pictured at Saturday's rally at Free Derry Corner. From left; Eamon McGinley, Eo�n Mc Ginley, Niall Rodgers, Michael McCrossan , Caol�n McGinley, Caol�n Lamberton, and Tiarn�n Heaney. (1401MM05)

�gra Shinn F�in activists pictured at Saturday's rally at Free Derry Corner. From left; Eamon McGinley, Eo�n Mc Ginley, Niall Rodgers, Michael McCrossan , Caol�n McGinley, Caol�n Lamberton, and Tiarn�n Heaney. (1401MM05)

Young republicans staged a demonstration in Derry on Saturday in support of the Basque peace process.

The event, at Free Derry Corner, was designed to co-ordinate with huge demonstrations in Bilbao and throughout the Basque country which saw more than 130,000 people take to the streets.

The Derry protest solidarity event was organised by Ógra Shinn Féin and similar events were also held in Belfast and Dublin.

Michael McCrossan, the chairperson of Ógra Shinn Féin in Derry, said it is important for local people to support the Basque peace process.

The young republican took part in a youth delegation to the Basque country two months ago.

“The similarities between the Basque region and the Irish peace process are remarkable,” he said.

“It was very important that we held this event in Derry at the weekend. I visited the Basque country as part of a delegation just two months ago and the efforts to create a peace process are very similar.

“Basque Political Prisoners have made a very positive contribution to the development of a peace process there.

“They have set out a number of issues that they can play an active role in not least stating that they endorse the pursuance of political objectives through exclusively political means and also recognizing suffering of all those who have been affected by the conflict,” he added.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also called on the Spanish government to release Basque prisoners.

“Generosity from the Spanish government to Basque prisoners and their families is essential. The price of peace needs imaginative gestures,” he said.

Last year a Spanish high court ordered the release of several imprisoned members of the Basque separatist group ETA after the Spanish government had tried to stop the early release of prisoners.

 

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