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Sunday 17 December 2017

Gardai oppose Love Ulster march, says Lord Mayor Christy Burke

Rioting in O'Connell Street which stopped the planned Love Ulster March through the city in 2006
Rioting in O'Connell Street which stopped the planned Love Ulster March through the city in 2006
A Garda stands by a burning car on Nassau St. during riots following a Love Ulster march in Dublin in 2006
Rioting in O'Connell Street which stopped the planned Love Ulster March through the city in 2006

A high-ranking Dublin garda has said he would be advising against the Love Ulster parade going ahead in the capital this month, because of the riots it caused in 2006.

The last demonstration saw 14 people hospitalised and a further 41 arrested.

Last December, Willie Frazer confirmed that he would bring approximately 200 people and a Loyalist band to Dublin this month to march down O'Connell Street and on to Leinster House, to demand justice for people killed by the IRA around the border areas during the Troubles.

But Lord Mayor Christy Burke said that a garda source has told him he would be advising Mr Frazer against such a move.

"I spoke with a very senior Dublin garda a number of weeks ago and he said he would advise against the parade if approached by Willie Frazer (the parade's organiser)," Mr Burke told the Herald.

"Yesterday, I contacted the Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey and Pat Leahy (the Chief Superintendent of Store Street garda station) asking them if Mr Frazer had officially approached them about the parade and if so what would they be recommending. I have not received an answer yet."

In a YouTube clip last month, Mr Frazer said: "We're coming down to demand justice, and justice we will get, sooner or later, one way or another".

The Lord Mayor said that as the first citizen of Dublin he would not be backing the march based on what happened in 2006.

The news comes after Fianna Fail councillor Jim O'Callaghan for Dublin South East, asked Dublin city councillors to back a motion opposing the Loyalist parade.

Cllr O'Callaghan tabled the motion before Dublin City Council last night because he wanted to avoid another incidence of violence in the capital, however it was not reached on the meeting's agenda.

"People may recall that in March 2006, the same man organised another Love Ulster march that resulted in a lot of violence; in fact, 14 people were hospitalised," he said.

"So I don't think we need another provocative Love Ulster march in the city.

"It's going to eat up a lot of garda resources, it's going to probably result in some violence on some streets, and it's going to damage some businesses in the centre of Dublin."

The Herald contacted An Garda Siochana about the planned march and a spokesman said: "As this is an operational matter we would not be in a position to comment."

hnews@herald.ie

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