PSNI chief challenged over police involvement in ‘anti-British’ New York parade

Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Matt Baggott.

Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Matt Baggott.

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Jim Allister has challenged the chief constable to explain why the PSNI took part in a parade the TUV leader claimed was “deliberately anti-British”.

Directing his comments at Matt Baggott, Mr Allister said: “The official guidelines for the New York St Patrick’s Day parade make it very clear that it is a deliberately anti-British event, epitomised by the fact that the only banner permitted is that which proclaims ‘England Get Out of Ireland’.

“So, why is the PSNI, a police service from the UK, officially participating in a parade behind an anti-British and offensive banner?”

A police spokeswoman confirmed that six PSNI officers participated in the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York – selected because of their participation in the 2013 World Police and Fire Games.

Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said: “We are delighted to have six officers in New York representing the PSNI and participating in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.”

In Co Armagh, UUP MLA Danny Kennedy defended a decision by Cormeen band to parade in Armagh city last night. He said republicans should recognise the unionist tradition’s right to celebrate St Patrick.