I heard Graeme Stenhouse the current governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, who have maybe 10,000 members in 238 Clubs, on BBC Radio Ulster last Tuesday.
They let the Clyde Valley Flute Band from Larne march in their parade in Derry City with their band uniform changed to support 1 Para Bn L/Cpl F.
How can any human being respond to a valid question, ‘How do you think the Bloody Sunday families feel when that Flute Band marches in their city with support for the Paras embroidered on their uniform?’ with ‘I support the Armed Forces’?
That is worse than wooden, worse than just ‘insensitive’.
The Apprentice Boys were not like that — for over 20 years they worked very hard for cross-community understanding in Derry.
They were always far more open and imaginative than many Orangemen. And they got results.
‘Support F’ is not about opposing selective pursuit of only forces wrongdoing while ignoring IRA terror.
The Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday shamed the honourable Para Regt Maroon Beret worn from 1942, such as by that fine Dubliner, ICTU Pres and WUI Gen-Sec Paddy Cardiff, who fought the Nazis like so many other decent Irishmen, and as worn by Sergeant Michael Willetts, 27, when he gave his young life on May 25, 1971 to save two young children from a PIRA bomb at Springfield Road RUC Barracks in West Belfast.
And then we get a barrage of non-stop self-pitying Provo-style whining from unionists, both UUP like Robin Swann and DUP, just because the Police stopped that band bus in the Waterside after the parade and asked for their names.
The PSNI were right since provocative conduct is an offence.
Tom Carew, Dublin