The announcement by Willie Frazer on February 10 that he plans to lead a band of loyalist carrying the Union Jack and other loyalist paraphernalia down O’Connell Street with the permission of the Garda Síochána is as provocative today as it was in 2006.
In 2006 Republican Sinn Féin warned that such a march was likely to provoke a riot on the streets of Dublin. These warnings were ignored by the 26-County Administration and their police force. The outcome was as we forecast due to the arrogance and unwillingness of the political establishment to gauge the public mood. Any repeat of the attempt to force this march through Dublin will provoke a similar reaction.
The purported purpose of this march is to raise the issue of victims of the war in the Six Counties. We would point out that such a Loyalist march would pass Talbot St, one of the sites of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, carried out by a British-led and trained Loyalist death-squad. The collusion of the British Government - in the single biggest loss of life during the present phase of the war in the Six Counties resulting in the deaths of 33 people – has never been addressed. Many of those who Willie Frazier represents were armed combatants in that war. Indeed the majority of Protestants to die during the period from 1969 to 1998 died at the hands of loyalist death-squads. Perhaps Willie Frazier should instead be marching on the headquarters of the UVF and UDA?
Meanwhile, nationalist communities across the Six Counties have to endure each year the prospect of being trapped in their homes because of Orange marches forced through their towns, villages and districts. Such a march in the present context of continued British occupation and the existence of the sectarian and undemocratic Six-County State will not be welcome in Dublin. A recent poll in the Journal.ie on whether he march should go ahead should ahead showed that 84% people were opposed to it and only 3% in favour.
Racism and sectarianism is on the rise in the Occupied Six Counties of Ulster fuelled in no small part by the fellow-travellers of Willie Frazer who are behind the ‘flag’ protest in Belfast and who are ‘manning the barricade’ at Twaddell, in the Woodvale area for the last two years attempting to harass and intimidate the nationalist community in the besieged Ardoyne area of Belfast.