éirígí candidate for Belfast’s Upper Falls in next month’s local government elections in the Six Counties Pádraic Mac Coitir has said the decision by the British Ministry of Defence not to stage a ‘homecoming parade’ in the city is evidence of the resurgence of republicanism.
Belfast City Council recently voted in favour of allowing the notorious Royal Irish Regiment to have a parade through the city on their return from the war against the people of Afghanistan. However, the British MOD has declined to take the council up on its offer, ostensibly citing financial considerations.
Mac Coitir said: “The decision by the British government not to proceed with a parade in Belfast is evidence of the fact that they are fearful of the reaction of republicans and the nationalist population.
“In 2008, the British MOD felt confident enough to attempt to march the RIR through the streets of Belfast. On that occasion, they were met with the determined opposition of éirígí and of hundreds of angry republicans.
“Three years later, the British government feels itself incapable of organising a similar blood-stained procession through the streets. This decision is testament to the hard work of éirígí activists and other republicans in rebuilding the republican struggle in Belfast.
“We have no doubt that this work is very much a job in progress and will take a lot more effort, but decisions like the MOD’s prove that this work is bearing fruit.”
Mac Coitir added: “The claim by the MOD that they decided against holding this parade due to purely financial considerations is clearly a nonsense given they are holding other events across the Six Counties.
“éirígí will oppose any ceremonies for the war criminals of the RIR, regardless of where in Ireland they are held.”
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