Republican ‘history tour’ is glorification of terrorism: TUV

One of the Provisional IRA historical re-enactments in October last year
One of the Provisional IRA historical re-enactments in October last year

TUV leader Jim Allister has labelled a planned republican “history tour” in Londonderry tomorrow as a “blatant glorification of terrorism”.

The event, organised by the Spirit of Freedom Republican Flute Band, is billed as “ a tour of local history, from St Columba through the siege and right up to the present day”.

But there are fears that it could harken back to a similar event which took place in the city last October.

That tour – organised by the same group – featured masked men with replica weapons publicly acting out actual PIRA attacks from the Troubles.

Police confirmed they are aware of tomorrow’s planned event, but would not say if they intended to monitor the situation.

North Antrim MLA Mr Allister told the News Letter: “Last year’s event re-enacted terrorist incidents from the 1970s and 1980s, so it is all within living memory.

“If this upcoming event is anything like last year’s, it will be very insensitive towards victims.”

Mr Allister said he had alerted the PSNI to his “unease” about the planned event, adding: “Why are the police so complacent about the fact this group can present themselves in uniforms and re-enact incidents involving weaponry?

“If they are going to sit on their hands, as they did last time, then it doesn’t seem to me to be an appropriate police response.”

It is understood the organisers are planning on using BB guns rather than imitation firearms.

However, Mr Allister said: “That doesn’t make what they are doing any less offensive.

“These are representations of weapons of death and destruction. It is obviously meant to glorify terrorism.”