16 May 2022

‘Soldier F band should not return to Derry’

The Derry News understands the band intends to march on 'Lundy's Day' - Bloody Sunday families say it would be 'disgraceful'

‘Soldier F band should not return to Derry’

Clyde Valley Flute Band shirt with parachute regiment insignia and letter F

Bloody Sunday families have said it would be a “disgrace” if the Clyde Valley Flute Band is allowed to return to Derry for the annual Lundy’s Day parade next month.
The Derry News understands that the loyalist band which controversially wore a uniform in support of soldier F intends to march in the city on December 7.
Almost three months have passed since the Larne-based flute band wore a uniform with parachute regiment insignia accompanied by a letter F at the annual Apprentice Boys parade in August.
Over the weekend the PSNI confirmed that an investigation is “ongoing” into members of the band.
Thirteen people were shot dead when members of the British Army's Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.
An ex-paratrooper, known as Soldier F, is accused of murdering James Wray, 22, and William McKinney, 27. He is also facing five attempted murder charges in relation to shootings on that day.
At the August 10 parade in Derry police officers flanked the Clyde Valley band to “prevent a breach of the peace” and later stopped their bus, taking the names of several members.
Bloody Sunday families, political representatives, parade brokers and many members of the local community said the band should not be allowed to set foot in the city again.
William McKinney's brother, Mickey, said he “wouldn’t be happy” if the Clyde Valley band is allowed to march next month. “What they did that day was intentional, they went out of their way to cause hurt to the Bloody Sunday families and I think it would be fair to say that the rest of the families would not be happy about them coming back to this town, at all.”
The Saville Inquiry was sure that it was Soldier F who shot and killed Michael Kelly. However, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) concluded that the available evidence did not provide a "reasonable prospect of proving that Soldier F fired at this location."
Speaking to the Derry News, Michael’s brother, John, made clear that he “certainly wouldn’t be happy” about the prospect of the band marching in the city again and believes it would be a “disgrace” if they do given what happened last time.
“The city itself and the Apprentice Boys don’t even want them back so there’s no point in coming back. If they do it’s just the same old story to upset families and to antagonise.
“To be truthful I think it would be a major mistake to bring them back here and I don’t think the Apprentice Boys would do it, especially after the reaction here in the city, the last thing we want to see here is trouble again.
“And the only reason they would come here is to create trouble, nothing else.
“Any band that comes with the full intention to upset the Bloody Sunday families and create trouble will certainly not be welcome at all.”
When asked if the Clyde Valley Flute Band will be taking part in the parade the Apprentice Boys of Derry said the 11/1 form had not yet been submitted. It is the notification form which anyone wishing to organise a parade must submit to the Parades Commission via the PSNI containing the names of bands, route of the march and other details.

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