Willie Frazer sets date for planned Dublin protest march

Willie Frazer
Willie Frazer

Willie Frazer has unveiled some details of a planned protest parade through Dublin by Troubles victims next month, saying that it could include Union flags and collarette-clad Orange brethren.

The Co Armagh-based campaigner had suggested during the summer that he would try to resurrect plans for a march in the Irish capital, after having abandoned a similar proposal in 2015.

The root of Mr Frazer’s grievance is the Irish authorities’ handling of the still-ongoing inquest into the Kingsmills massacre.

His 2015 Dublin march was called off after Mr Frazer received assurances of more co-operation from Irish authorities over the inquest.

However, he said little has changed since, and the only documents supplied by Dublin are 60 newspaper cuttings and 30-pages of general background information.

Mr Frazer, alongside members of the Worton family (who lost 24-year-old Kenneth in the massacre) and Barrie Halliday (a victims’ campaigner and Christian pastor who recently pleaded guilty to VAT fraud) met senior Garda figures on Tuesday to discuss details of his proposed demonstration with them.

He said he intends to organise the march on Saturday, October 28.

The details have yet to be finalised.

However, he said it is likely to leave the south bank of the O’Connell Bridge (but avoid the main arterial road of O’Connell Street itself) and proceed to the Irish parliament building at Leinster House.

Along the way, he said, there are likely to be “a few” Union flags, Ulster flags, and “men with their collarettes on them”, before speeches at given once they reach their destination at Leinster House.

It would involve IRA victims from both sides of the Irish Sea, he said.

He said that “we’ll have no problem getting people”, but would probably cap attendance at about 200 or 300.

Mr Frazer said Garda Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, and said the officer voiced surprise about the state of affairs regarding the inquest, and pledged to pass his concerns up the chain of command.

“Obviously, he’d prefer if we didn’t come to Dublin,” said Mr Frazer.

“With respect, he said that to us. There’s nothing personal in that. We just wouldn’t be popular down there.

“But he said it’s his job to police, and he’ll police.

“This is not blackmail – the Irish government haven’t lived up to the expectations they promised the victims.”

He said he expects the latest instalment of the inquest hearings to be on September 29.