Local councillor defends decision to attend Tony Taylor protest

Derry republican, Tony Taylor (left) and SDLP Councillor, Brian Tierney.
Derry republican, Tony Taylor (left) and SDLP Councillor, Brian Tierney.

A Derry and Strabane councillor has issued a public explanation why he will attend a protest designed to help Derry republican, Tony Taylor.

Mr. Taylor was returned to prison in March 2016 by order of then Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers MP.

"This weekend I will join with people across this city in protest against the continued imprisonment of Tony Taylor," said SDLP Councillor, Brian Tierney.

“Over the past number of months, I have worked closely with Tony’s family and others who all consistently assert his innocence. His family have already suffered greatly as a result of the uncertainty surrounding his incarceration.

“Let me be clear, this is an issue regarding an unfair process of detention. At present I understand that no charges have been brought against Tony and neither he nor his family understand the reasoning for his incarceration."

Colr. Tierney went on to call on the people of the city to come out on Sunday and support the call for Mr. Taylor's release.

“My party colleagues and I have made our concerns clear to the Secretary of State and the British Government. There needs to be full transparency and explanation offered to Tony and his family.

“As a party who has consistently fought to keep the shadow and threat of violence from this island, we know that it's only when people here have confidence in the judicial process can we build a lasting peace.

“The right to a fair trial is a civil rights issue. As the party of civil rights, the SDLP will not shy away from challenging the ill treatment of any of our citizens here in Derry. I urge others to support the fight for transparency, for fairness and for justice.”

The protest and march will start at the Brandywell Grotto on Sunday at 2:30pm.