Driver told to remove ribbon

A bus driver from Derry has criticised Translink after he was asked to remove a badge commemorating Bloody Sunday from his uniform.

Jim Coyle said he bought the black ribbon badge last week on Thursday and wore it to his work at the depot on Friday morning.

He said he was then asked to remove the badge by an inspector who said it was against the company’s regulations.

“I was told it was a political emblem and wasn’t allowed. I was told that the only symbols or badges allowed are union badges and the poppy badge,” he said.

Mr Coyle also said he does not believe that the Bloody Sunday ribbon is political. “For me it is not political. It is about innocence of those who were killed.

“That has been proved so this symbol should not cause offence to anyone. Church leaders from all denominations got behind the families last year so it is definitely not political,” he said.

The driver also said the Bloody Sunday badge should be treated the same as the poppy. “I don’t have a problem with people wearing a poppy if they choose to do so.

“But I should be allowed to wear the Bloody Sunday ribbon if I want to. You can’t have one and not the other,” he added.

A spokesperson for Translink said: “In line with company policies and guidance from the Equality Commission, the only badges which may be worn at work are Company ID, a customer service badge or a trade union badge. Exceptions to this include time-bound emblems such as a single traditional poppy badge during the official period or shamrock on St Patrick’s Day.”