Anger at Derrylin hunger strike parade

Published Wednesday, 16 July 2014
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Unionists have condemned plans to hold a huge hunger strike parade in Co Fermanagh.

Anger at Derrylin hunger strike parade
Ten men died in the 1981 Hunger Strike at the H-Blocks in the Maze. (© Pacemaker)

Sinn Féin has announced that up to 10,000 people are expected to attend the event in Derrylin next month to commemorate the 1981 hunger strikes.

The village witnessed several IRA murders during the Troubles and local UUP politician Tom Elliott said there is concern that the march will cause offence.

The Fermanagh MLA called on Sinn Féin to rethink the idea.

"The hunger strikers were by and large members of the IRA and some of them carried out atrocities within that Derrylin area so obviously I do think it's very insensitive," Mr Elliott told UTV.

"It's re-traumatising those families who had loved ones murdered and I just think it's extremely unfair to those people."

The annual parade is scheduled to take place on 3 August and local Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew said work is underway to minimise any disruption in Derrylin.

She continued: "I am proud that Fermanagh has been selected to stage the National Hungerstrike Commemoration given the fact that Bobby Sands was elected to represent this constituency in 1981.

"The annual commemoration is not only a dignified parade to honour Irish hunger strikers but a series of events including lectures, displays and youth events that allow people to remember the sacrifice made by these men.

"The commemoration attracts up to 10,000 people so there is also an economic benefit to the local businesses as many people travel to the area.

"The organising committee is already working with the local community to minimise any disruption during the parade and ensure that the event is successful."

© UTV News
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106 Comments
Ryan in An Dun wrote (87 days ago):
@ Lucy Lou in Belfast. Well I did say before my faith comes before my political affiliation. I don't think we disagree as much as Marty and Peter.
lucylou in belfast wrote (92 days ago):
DOROTHY in KANSAS [AVENUE]--Keep your neb out then and you'll be much happier I'm sure.
lucylou in belfast wrote (92 days ago):
RYAN in AN DUN-----Quite honestly I am not at all surprised at you not voting on the grounds of SINN FEINS policy on abortion because I rate you as a person of principle. You asked was I a witness or guessing re who erected the flag on the island .I'll tell you [but only you] I said it for any reactions it might evoke. However I just might be right. SINN FEIN are the masters of spin. Personally Ryan flags of whatever ilk hold no interest for me; them ,or anything else that can be used to cause division. I am SURE we will debate lots more on many issues looking forward to it.
lucylou in belfast wrote (92 days ago):
Ryan in AN DUN--just read your reply to DOROTHY In Kansas [AVENUE] and Ryan agree with every letter you wrote!! I had actually posted a message to you earlier to say I hoped you would still be my 'debating buddy' and that the previous one mentioning the wee spelling error was in a light hearted spirit. I like our debates and know you may have some views I wouldn't hold but I feel you haven't a nasty bone in your body and your reply to DOT just proved to me that I was right about that. Dot can be a bit nasty sometimes so maybe she's not a very happy person so we won't be TOO hard on her probably best to ignore actually. Hope a friendly moderator posts this one for me!
Ryan in An Dun wrote (92 days ago):
@Dorothy in Kansas. Come into the cinema half way through the film did we? Don't comment on what you haven't read. I'm not involved in any "spat". It's call a debate Dorothy. Lucy has her own view and I have mine. If everyone had the same view on everything, wouldn't this be a perfect little world?
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