Parachute Regiment flags in Derry

Published Thursday, 17 January 2013
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Calls have been made to remove Parachute Regiment flags which have been erected in Londonderry ahead of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Parachute Regiment flags in Derry
The flags have been erected close to the Bogside. (© UTV)

The flags, some of which are overlooking the Bogside estate, were put up in the past 24 hours.

Thirteen people died when British paratroopers shot civil rights marchers in Derry in 1972.

The Saville Report, published in 2010, declared all the victims to be innocent and Prime Minister David Cameron apologised in the House of Commons.

Events are due to be held at the end of January to mark the 41st anniversary of the atrocity.

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan told UTV the flags which were overlooking the Fountain area have now been removed, but said there may still be more in other areas.

"Whatever justification people might feel about flying other flags, displaying the flag of the parachute regiment in this city is deliberately offensive," he said,

"A provocative display like this can only cause distress and anxiety to the people of the Fountain as well as upset in the wider community. I hope that wiser community counsel will prevail and these emblems will be removed to avert the obvious dangers."

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney called for Unionist leaders to help have the flags removed.

He said: "Given the history of the Parachute Regiment in this city and the upcoming anniversary of Bloody Sunday the erection of Parachute Regiment flags is being seen as provocation in an effort to raise tensions in the Derry area.

"We now need to see leadership from within Unionism to ensure that these flags are taken down as those who have erected them obviously did so to create a reaction from within the Nationalist community."

© UTV News
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101 Comments
John in Creggan wrote (609 days ago):
jimmy stranraer ehen you travel to England do you have to change your Scottish "British" pounds to real British pounds same as us? Ever get the feeling you'r not wanted?
Ish in Austraila but from Derry wrote (610 days ago):
My comment is on all the trouble back there now it seems to me that it is a certain number of people that is looking to cause trouble and rise tensions between the 2 communities that too many people have died for to get it where it is now. I think the people that are starting the trouble are just to young as to understand what the troubles where really like as I am myself I think that there is bigger problems out there and that they need to get out of that bubble that they are destroying and see other parts of the world and they will see that there life's army that bad. And it's about time they start to grow up.
Ciaran in Carnlough, County Antrim wrote (610 days ago):
Jimmy in Stranraer-If the tricolour flying here makes me proud then in your words I'm a zombie.Actually this story is great, it exposes Loyalism to the world and what we already know about them.
Ted in North east part of the country wrote (610 days ago):
I think two could play at this insults game. No turning the other cheek, Nationalists in Derry, the majority, should now seek to remove the London from the citys proud name. After all most Derry people call it Derry anyway.
john in derry wrote (610 days ago):
People have said 'sure what about IRA flags etc'. The people this will offend the most i.e. families of b.Sunday victims have nothing to do with the IRA or republicanism, its not a good enough retort to instantly say 'sure what about...' Within the next 20 years people from a catholic background will be a majority in NI. If loyalism had a tiny bit of forward thinkin they would be bending over backwards as to not offend those whose support they will soon rely on to remain in the UK. It's the same lack of forward thinking that had led loyalists to where they are today,social rejects, uneducated, criminals, violent and petty. If this is the loyalist mentality I would vote for a united Ireland just to teach them a lesson, even though I have no particular desire to leave the UK. Loyalists will reap what they sow. Some day there will really be no turning back and generations of unionists will kick themselves for stunts like this.
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