herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Love Ulster march security 'as costly as the Queen's visit'

Love Ulster riot
Love Ulster riot
Willie Frazer

Gardai say that the same level of security needed for the Queen's visit to Ireland is required for the upcoming Love Ulster march.

Organiser and Loyalist activist Willie Frazer had a second meeting with gardai yesterday about the march, planned for Dublin on March 28.

"The gardai told me that the same level of security needed for the Queen's visit would be needed for the parade," Mr Frazer told the Herald.

Mr Frazer, who represents Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (Fair), said that he would bring approximately 200 people to Dublin to march on Leinster House to demand justice for people killed by the IRA around the border areas during the Troubles.

The last Love Ulster march saw 14 people hospitalised and a further 41 arrested as thugs protesting against the loyalist presence in the city caused mayhem on O'Connell Street.

Mr Frazer, who would prefer to meet with Irish politicians as opposed to marching, was also informed by gardai yesterday that Government officials would be contacting him.

"I was told that Government officials will be in touch to set up a meeting today or tomorrow," he said.

2015-03-05_new_7540365_I1.JPG
Willie Frazer

Willie Frazer

Mr Frazer was contacted by a Government official last night about a potential meeting for next Monday.

"If the meeting goes ahead there will be no parade," he added. Yesterday's meeting took place in Store Street garda station and lasted almost two hours. It was attended by two chief superintendents.

The Loyalist activist also praised the gardai involved.

"It was a very good meeting. The gardai have been very professional in how they've handled the situation," he said.

Mr Frazer added that he believed the gardai would inform their superiors that the last thing they needed was a parade on March 28.

Gardai earlier this week stated that they would target any criminal behaviour.

CRIMINAL

A spokesman said they would "target any breaches of the peace and criminal activity".

"It is the policy of An Garda Siochana to seek the co-operation of those involved in organising peaceful protests and demonstrations to ensure the safety of all," the representative said.

When asked about yesterday's meeting, a garda spokesman reiterated their stance. The spokesman would not comment on the meeting in Store Street except to say that it took place.

hnews@herald.ie

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