The fact that the postponement of a veterans parade in Londonderry followed “what amounts to threats of intimidation” by dissident Republicans is regrettable, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said.
Mr Campbell questioned whether Londonderry was a cold place for veterans after the Justice for Veterans UK march, planned for March 4 to protest ongoing criminal investigations involving former soldiers, was postponed.
The East Londonderry MP said: “It is regrettable that the veterans parade due to be held in Londonderry next month to highlight this injustice is being postponed. The fact that this has happened after what amounts to threats of intimidation by republicans,(including some dissident groups) is all the more reprehensible.
“To threaten counter protests against a peaceful parade to the cenotaph where a wreath would have been laid, demonstrates how far some are prepared to go to deny legitimate rights to others from whom they disagree.”
The republican group who had promised a counter-demonstration, Saoradh, claimed a ‘Victory for Free Derry’. The group said it was pleased what it described as the “glorification parade by ex-Crown Forces personnel” had been called off.
Another grouping, known as ‘Republican Sinn Féin’, said: “Republican revolutionaries from various groups had organised a counter demo, it was clear Republican Ireland was and is eager to show opposition.”
DUP MP Gregory Campbell added: “Those objecting are trying to turn Londonderry into a cold house for veterans.”