Loyalist protest group to visit scene of civil rights clash on Bloody Sunday anniversary

Posted By: January 19, 2017

Connla Young. Irish News. Belfast. Thursday, January 20, 2017
A loyalist protest group that previously gloated about the British army killing of 14 people in Derry on Bloody Sunday intends to visit the site where members of the ‘B’ Specials attacked a Civil Rights walk on the anniversary of the massacre.

Loyal Peoples Protest (LPP) has said it intends to visit Burntollet Bridge near Derry later this month.

Kate Nash, a sister of William Nash who was killed on Bloody Sunday, said the plan “smacks of sectarianism and bigotry.”

The visit will take place on the same day that thousands are expected to attend an annual parade to mark the 45th anniversary Bloody Sunday.

The LPP, which is linked to the loyalist flag protests, has said it will also visit Derry on January 29.

In the past, it has organized protests during Loyalist parades.

Burntollett Bridge was the scene of an infamous incident when loyalists and off- duty members of the ‘B’ Specials attacked a Civil Rights march, organized by People’s Democracy, making its way from Belfast to Derry in January 1969.

In a post on its Facebook page, the LPP said: “We are organizing a wee trip to Burntollett Bridge on January 29.

“We will finish our day in the Maiden City.”

The post is signed off ‘Untrique Paratus’ – the motto of the Parachute Regiment which means ‘Ready for Anything.’

A message left by the group on its Facebook page explained where Burntollett is.

“ It’s were we attacked the Republican-led Civil Right March in 69, January 29 is when they celebrate Bloody Sunday in Londonderry,” it said.

In response one poster said: “Should do it again.”

Last year the LPP was criticized after it mocked the deaths of those killed on Bloody Sunday with a post that read: “Paras 14 Republicans 0. Enjoy your day, we did.”

The Facebook page also pays tribute to former LVF chief Billy Wright.

Mrs. Nash, whose brother William was shot dead, said that the Parachute Regiment killed people from both sides of the community.

“These same Paratroopers killed people in Ballymurphy six month previous and killed two people in the Shankill area at that time.

“Would they not want justice for their own people, do they think that’s something to gloat about, their own people who died?”

Ms. Nash said people have a right to remember their dead.

“This march is not designed to annoy or gloat at other people; it’s simply a commemoration of a terrible day that happened here and people are marching to raise awareness of other innocent victims.

“The fact they can’t allow us to do that smacks of sectarian and bigoted people.