County Derry Parachute Regiment flags designed to offend Bloody Sunday families: Archibald

A British Parachute Regiment flag.
A British Parachute Regiment flag.

The erection of Parachute Regiment flags in a County Derry village have been branded an affront to the Bloody Sunday families and nationalist residents.

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said the flags were erected in Garvagh not long after a banner proclaiming support for a former British soldier set to face charges over his role on Bloody Sunday was raised in the town.

She said: "The appearance of British Parachute Regiment flags days after the erection of a controversial banner supporting 'Soldier F' in Garvagh has caused considerable concern among locals and visitors to the town."

The East Derry MLA said the banner and the flags were a calculated attempt to offend the families of the 14 people murdered in Derry on January 30, 1972.

"The erection of these flags in the centre of the town on a main thoroughfare is an attempt to intimidate the community and to cause offence particularly to the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday.

"I am calling on those responsible for putting up these flags to take them down as a matter of urgency."

“These flags have been reported to the PSNI and it has been requested that this is treated as a hate crime.

“I will be contacting the British Ministry of Defence to seek clarification on their position on the appropriation of these flags by loyalists who are clearly using them to cause offence and retraumatise victims," said Ms. Archibald.