Gerry Adams has blamed the Secretary of State and Ministry of Defence for the issues around the Belfast homecoming parade. In supposed generosity he argues a reception and religious service should have been good enough for families and supporters of the returning servicemen and women (i.e. behind closed doors and ignores the impracticality of how thousands could attend such events).
A civic reception and a religious service would have provided families and supporters of the British army with the opportunity to welcome back their loved ones.”
Meanwhile the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church has sent Gerry Adams a letter
criticising calling for the Sinn Fein protest to be cancelled:
“It is not in a spirit of triumphalism that we welcome these soldiers home but in a spirit of thanksgiving, sharing in the relief of their families that their loved ones are safe.”
The DUP has called for the BBC and UTV to televise the event:
“I know that many people have taken a close interest in this event and will be attending the parade in Belfast on Sunday: however I believe there is sufficient support throughout the community for this event to be broadcast live as it happens. People from all around Northern Ireland will want to watch as we pay tribute to our soldiers returning home from such difficult and hazardous missions.”