The Bloody Sunday Trust has described the wearing of Parachute Regiment wings by loyalist band members at the Apprentice Boys parade last weekend as a ‘major setback’.
But it also welcomed the Apprentice Boys’ acknowledgement that the appearance of the insignia on the sleeves of members of the Clydevalley Flute Band may have caused upset in Derry.
The Trust has requested a meeting with the ABOD to discuss the incident involving one out ot 145 bands that paraded during the ‘Relief of Derry’ demonstrations last Saturday.
Today the ‘Journal’ can reveal that the Apprentice Boys are open to meeting and have said they will respond to the request in due course.
Tony Doherty, Chair of the Trust, said: “While we have given a guarded welcome to the recent Apprentice Boys statement, in our view there is much more to be done to restore relationships in our shared city.
“The Trust is a peace-loving and peace-making organisation. We value relationships and wish to see our city prosper and thrive.
“The events of last Saturday are clearly a set-back and we must all play our part in ensuring that the full gravity of the situation is acknowledged and understood, that the full facts of how it came about be established, and to receive full assurances that the matter will be dealt will properly allowing for no repeat ever.”
Mr. Doherty said that the Trust is due to meet the police on Friday.
“We also fully expect to receive a response from the Apprentice Boys soon,” he added.
Responding, Billy Moore, General Secretary of the Apprentice Boys, said: “I’m sure we’d be quite pleased to meet anyone that genuinely wants to continue with the good work that’s already taking place.
“Their comments are helpful. We’ll certainly reciprocate in due course. It might take a while.
“Obviously people have to work and there are ongoing discussions at a number of levels but certainly, in due course, we’ll get back to them and arrange a meeting.”