Antrim hosts latest in series of veterans’ protests

Veterans at a previous parade
Veterans at a previous parade

The latest in a series of military veterans’ protest parades will take place in Antrim on Saturday.

Organised by Justice For Veterans UK (JFVUK), the parade will make its way from the Royal British Legion hall on Lough Road at 2pm to the town’s cenotaph before returning to the RBL premises.

It will be led by the Staffordstown Accordion Band and is expected to take around 40 minutes.

A wreath will be laid at the cenotaph and there will be a short address.

Parade organiser Anto Wickham has said the Northern Ireland protests are part of a wider campaign to highlight what JFVUK calls the ongoing “vindictive” criminal investigations and prosecutions involving former British soldiers.

In an open letter to the UK Government last April, the veterans’ campaign group said: “The treatment of UK veterans for events that occurred during past service for the government is nothing short of a national scandal.”

Any veterans wishing to take part in the event are asked to gather at the RBL hall for 1.30pm for the parade moving off at 2pm sharp – wearing regimental blazers and headdress if available but otherwise smart civilian clothes.

Although the Royal British Legion hall is the start and finish point for the march, the RBL is not involved in the campaign and recently wrote to its members explaining its position.

The letter stated: “Members are of course free to attend these parades in a personal capacity.

“However ... we would like to remind Legion members that under no circumstances should they participate in these parades/protests as representatives of the Legion or indicate Legion support for them in any way.”