22 May 2022

Soldier F band won't return to Derry on Lundy's Day

Soldier F band won't return to Derry on Lundy's Day

The loyalist band that wore a uniform in support of soldier F won’t be marching in Derry at next month’s Lundy’s Day parade, the Derry News has learned.

Last week the Derry News reported the Clyde Valley Flute Band’s intention to march on December 7.

However, following internal discussions with the Apprentice Boys of Derry it’s understood the band will now not be attending. 

Today the Parades Commission also confirmed that the Apprentice Boys of Derry haven't submitted an 11/1 form despite guidelines stating that it should be lodged within 28 days of any parade.

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.

Bloody Sunday families had told this paper it would be a “disgrace” if the band had been permitted to return.

In recent weeks talks have taken place between parade brokers, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Bogside Residents’ Group, and others, and it is believed that they are ongoing.

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. 

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.  The PSNI investigation is ongoing.

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.



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