Militant republican group Saoradh vows to oppose mooted Derry paratrooper support rally

Opposition.
Opposition.

Saoradh, the militant republican group, will oppose any attempt by British Army veterans to rally in Derry in protest at the prosecution of a British paratrooper for murder over his role on Bloody Sunday.

The Derry-headquartered group was reacting to reports that 'Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans' was considering holding a protest in the city over the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) decision.

"Saoradh wish to make it abundantly clear that we will provide an opportunity for republicans to radically confront this potential grotesque gathering in the city.

"We refuse to allow such a display of support for imperialism, occupation, colonialism and slaughter to go unchallenged.

"Saoradh hereby publicly state that we will mobilise the people of Derry and beyond to ensure that these former Crown Force members are denied access to the streets of our city," a spokesperson for the group said.

Earlier, Alan Barry, the 'Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans' founder, said: "We are not happy. One paratrooper prosecuted is one paratrooper too many. It should have been none.

"We are putting out a call to as many veterans who served in Northern Ireland and want to travel over and descend on Londonderry and march through the streets.

"We will show people that we will not tolerate one of ours being prosecuted when 300 convicted killers were released from jail and 150 'on the run' letters were handed out to those who weren't apprehended."

Independent republican councillor, Gary Donnelly, said: "Mass rally, I don’t think so. Crackpot looking for attention, however it doesn’t take away from the injury and hurt caused even by the suggestion."