Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún and MLA for West Belfast Jennifer McCann were joined by family members, who have lost loved ones at the hands of the British Army, in calling for the British Ministry of Defence to cancel the British army parade planned for Belfast on Sunday 2 November.
Speaking at a Press conference where the MoD was challenged to cancel the now contentious Home Coming parade, Ms de Brún said: “Sinn Féin are today calling for the British Ministry of Defence to call off the British army parade planned for Belfast this weekend. It is not too late.
“To date the MOD have been invisible on this contentious and divisive march, failing to put up any spokespeople or address the wider public concerns. This parade is insensitive, rash and completely unnecessary.”
Assembly member McCann added: “The best thing in the opinion of Sinn Féin, the family members and victims groups representing these families, is for the British MOD to cancel this parade.
“The MOD should listen to the concerns expressed by the RIR chaplain David Latimer who acknowledged that this parade would be divisive and stated that a religious service would be a more appropriate event.
“Sinn Féin are calling on Shaun Woodward, the British Secretary of State, and John Hutton, the British Defence Minister, to let common sense prevail on this issue. If this military parade is called off Sinn Féin and the families would see no need for a protest.”
Those attending the Press conference calling for the MoD to call off the Belfast Home Coming parade for the RIR were: Clara Reilly – United Campaign Against Plastic Bullets; Mark Thompson – Relatives for Justice; Willie Loughran –New Lodge Six, 1973; Alice Harper, Pat Quinn and Liam Quinn- Ballymurphy Massacre, 1971; Michael Reilly – Brother of Thomas ‘Kidso’ Reilly killed at the top of Whiterock Road 1983; Tina Erskine – Sister of Danny Barrett, killed in 1981 in Ardoyne, north Belfast.