Bloody Sunday family calls for removal of ‘Para’ flags

A British Parachute Regiment flag flying from a pole on Rossdowney Road on Thursday afternoon. DER2816GS052
A British Parachute Regiment flag flying from a pole on Rossdowney Road on Thursday afternoon. DER2816GS052

The brother of one of those killed on Bloody Sunday has called on unionist leaders to condemn the flying of Parachute Regiment flags as the 47th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

John Kelly, whose 17-years-old brother, Michael, was killed on January 30, 1972, said that families are ‘trying to remember our dead in a dignified and respectful way.’

Mr. Kelly said the flying of the Regiment’s flag was ‘an attempt to provoke the families of the dead and wounded.’

The flags were erected in the Newbuildings area of Derry in recent weeks

“This year again we are faced with the provocation of the flying of Parachute Regiment flags in parts of this city as we approach the anniversary of the day that regiment murdered our loved ones.

“This is done in an attempt to hurt and antagonise the Bloody Sunday families and the people of Derry who support them, not to mention the many people here who remain traumatised by the events of Bloody Sunday and that period in our history.”

Mr. Kelly called on those responsible for flying the flags to be aware of the actions of the Parachute Regiment in the North.

“The people responsible for these flags know what this regiment has done both here and in Ballymurphy. They should also know that this same regiment murdered two innocent Protestants on the Shankill Road a few months after Bloody Sunday.

“No matter which community you come from, this regiment were murderers. They should not be honoured by the flying of their flags.”

Mr. Kelly urged unionist political and community representatives to join in the public calls for the flags to be removed.

“We call on unionist political and community leaders in this city - those who have influence in these areas - to condemn this and to publicly call for these flags to be removed.

“We are trying to remember our dead in a dignified and respectful way. Please allow us to do that.”