PPS to review prosecutions on IRA parade

Diane Dodds
Diane Dodds

The PPS has confirmed it is to review its decision not to carry out prosecutions in relation to paramilitary trappings at an IRA parade in Castlederg last summer.

In August republicans marched through Castlederg in honour of two terrorists who died when a bomb they were transporting to the town exploded prematurely in 1973.

The parade caused tensions at the highest level of government for weeks in advance. Afterwards IRA victims called for the police to investigate why participants jeered at them, wore paramilitary-style uniforms and carried images of weapons and masked men.

In February victims expressed disgust when it was revealed that there would be no prosecutions. But last night the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed it would review the case.

“A decision was taken not to prosecute in this case but can confirm that PPS is currently reviewing one aspect of that decision. It would be in appropriate to comment further until the outcome of that review,” a spokeswoman said,

The PPS statement comes after pressure from DUP MEP Diane Dodds.

“I welcome the fact that the PPS has now advised the police that it will review the original ‘no prosecution’ decision,” she said.

“Victims who I have spoken with in Castlederg were re-traumatised and grossly offended by this parade.”

Ms Dodds said she had been corresponding with the PSNI about why there had been no prosecutions relating to the parade. She noted that the Parades Commission determination for the parade banned any paramilitary-style clothing, the display of flags, bannerettes and symbols relating to proscribed organisations.

“Ahead of the SF parade, my party met with the police and urged them to have a fulsome evidence gathering team at the PIRA glorying parade,” she said. “If sufficient evidence is not available, then the police have serious questions to answer.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said they were made aware a number of weeks ago of the PPS decision to review the no prosecution decision.