Garda to lock down Dublin for victims’ parade

Gardai security for the  royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Dublin
Gardai security for the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Dublin

The Irish government has requested an urgent meeting with IRA victims as the Garda gave promises to “lock Dublin down” for their parade through the city later this month, it has been reported.

The victims are planning to hold the parade on March 28 to highlight what they feel is a one-sided approach to dealing with the past by the Irish government.

In particular victims are highlighting the Irish government’s failure to provide documentation for the Kingsmills massacre inquest in Belfast, despite a year of requests by the coroner.

The Garda confirmed that Chief Supt Pat Leahy and Chief Supt Michael O’Sullivan met campaigner Willie Frazer in Dublin yesterday in order to “facilitate a peaceful protest”.

He organised an earlier victims’ parade in the Republic’s capital in 2006 which ended with Dublin based protestors rioting and attacking gardai.

Speaking after the meeting yesterday, Mr Frazer said that when he met gardai in Dublin they had a communication from the government offering a meeting.

He is now meeting the Irish Department of Justice next week, he said.

“The guards said they will police the parade if we want to go ahead.

“But they said to do it would take the same lock down of Dublin as they had for the Queen’s visit, such is the level of threat.”

The victims’ campaigner said the parade is still going ahead on March 28.

The Irish Department of Justice later phoned him yesterday, he said, saying it was willing to meet to resolve the delay in supplying documents for the Kingsmills inquest and to discuss the new investigations unit under the Stormont House Agreement and other investigations, he said.

“But there have been a lot of promises before,” Mr Frazer said.

“Proper Dublin cooperation on dealing with the past has never taken place.

“We met with the Irish government two or three times pressing for an inquiry into the murders of RUC officers Breen and Buchanan but they refused. It was only after we met Canadian Judge Peter Corry that we got the Smithwick Tribunal.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also failed to honour promises in 2013 to meet the Kingsmills families in Co Armagh, he said.

“At the minute I don’t think the Stormont House Agreement puts equal accountability on the past on Dublin as it does on London – but we want the Irish government to be just as accountable as the government up here.”

Gardai have approved plans for the parade to lay a wreath at the memorial in Dublin for victims of the 1974 UVF bomb in the city, he said.

“The victims of the bomb are very welcome to take part in the parade with us,” said Mr Frazer.

“Any innocent victims of terrorism will be made very welcome.”

The Irish Department of Justice offered no comment.