Peace rally today: Bombing culprits ‘aim to drag us back into futile conflict’ - NIPSA

Those who carried out Saturday’s bombing in Derry “aim to drag us back into futile conflict and bloodshed”, a NIPSA representative has said ahead of a public peace rally in Derry city centre this afternoon.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 9:06 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:01 pm
The rally will take place at 1pm at the Peace Park next to the Guildhall.

The rally will take place at the Peace Park next to The Guildhall at 1pm under the slogan, ‘No Going Back!’.

The trade union NIPSA is organising the rally with the backing of Derry Trades Union Council and the ICTU.

Speaking ahead of the rally, NIPSA President Patrick Mulholland said: “Those who carried out Saturday’s bombing in Derry aim to drag us back into futile conflict and bloodshed. Their actions achieve nothing but whipping up sectarian tension and potentially legitimising attacks on democratic rights.

“The trade union movement - representing workers from all backgrounds - has a proud tradition of standing up against sectarian forces from all sides, especially when workers are under threat. We’ve called this protest to allow working people to send a clear message to these groups - No going back!”

NIPSA represents staff at Bishop Street courthouse, which was closed for two days in the wake of that bombing.

Local NIPSA representative Ruaidhrí Ó Sándair added: “Unemployment and poverty blight working-class communities in our city, Protestant and Catholic. Our public services are creaking at the seams. There is a growing housing crisis. In the workplace, low pay and zero-hour contracts are increasingly the norm. LGBT+ people and women are still being denied fundamental rights. These are issues which working-class people need to be coming together on now.”

NIPSA officials said it will give people the chance to voice their opposition to the spate of recent paramilitary activity, believed to the work of the New IRA.

Following the car bomb at Bishop Street on Saturday, on Monday a Housing Executive contractor’s van, a Royal Mail van and an ASDA delivery van were hijacked and abandoned in different parts of the city, sparking security operations on Circular Road, Southway and Northland Road. An attempt was also made to hijack a Translink bus in Galliagh.

There was a further security operation on Wednesday evening during which a suspected firearm was recovered in the Brandywell area by detectives investigating the earlier car bombing.