Northern Ireland

Selling of Parachute Regiment flags in Derry banned ahead of Apprentice Boys parade

A stall selling Parachute Regiment flags in Derry during last August's Relief of Derry parade.
A stall selling Parachute Regiment flags in Derry during last August's Relief of Derry parade. A stall selling Parachute Regiment flags in Derry during last August's Relief of Derry parade.

THE selling of Parachute Regiment flags during the upcoming Apprentice Boys parade in Derry has been banned following a council decision on stallholders.

The ban follows a recommendation of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Health and Community Committee last week, which called for a planned approach to temporary street trading licensing at next month's Relief of Derry parade.

The annual event is the biggest day in the Apprentice Boys marching calendar, with thousands expected to attend parades in the city on August 12.

Anger was sparked during last year's parade after Parachute Regiment flags were spotted for sale at a stall in the city's Glendermott Road area.

The British regiment was responsible for the killing of 14 people in Derry on Bloody Sunday in 1971, when troops opened fire on a civil rights march.

The stall also displayed and offered UVF flags for sale, and following complaints, police seized items from the stallholder.

Read more: 

Bloody Sunday victim's brother hurt by sale of UVF and Parachute Regiment flags in DerryOpens in new window ]

Parachute Regiment flags flown ahead of Bloody Sunday anniversary designed to 'stir up tensions and trouble', council hearsOpens in new window ]

Mickey McKinney, a brother of Bloody Sunday victim William McKinney, said the sale of the Parachute Regiment flag was "offensive, not just to myself but the other families and the wounded".

The recent committee motion stated stallholders planning to sell items along the parade route would not be granted a license unless they agreed not to sell Parchute regiment flags or flags linked to proscribed organisations.

The recommendation was ratified at Wednesday's full council meeting.

In January, Parachute Regiment flags were erected in Derry's Fountain estate ahead of the 51st anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Unionist councillors were criticised for a lack of "leadership" in urging Fountain residents to remove the flags.