A DUP MLA has described Sunday’s anti-internment march through Belfast city centre as a “parade of shame”.
North Belfast MLA William Humphrey questioned how the event was granted permission to proceed and called for action to be taken against those “glorifying terrorism”.
“Whilst this parade was billed as an anti-internment parade it was nothing other than a dissident republican parade of shame with the sole intent of provocation and division.
“The huge police presence within the city centre was obviously a result of last year’s parade and the violence from republicans. However, the question remains as to why this parade was allowed to proceed along the route, which includes the site of an IRA murder of two UDR soldiers.”
He accused some participants and supporters of the parade of chanting IRA slogans. “This glorification of terrorism was clearly an attempt to provoke a reaction from loyalists. Thankfully those protesting against the parade demonstrated restraint but there clearly were ample police officers present to gather the necessary evidence about those taking part.
“This evidence must be pursued and it remains to be seen whether the Parades Commission will once again ignore the actions of republicans when they are so quick to move on unionists and loyalists.”