Eamonn Mallie blogged earlier today revealing that UDA brigadiers and representatives have been invited down to Dublin next week.
The UDA’s five brigadiers and 4/5 representatives of their respective districts have been extended invitations to a wreath laying ceremony by Queen Elizabeth at Islandbridge in honour of the war dead. President Mary McAleese’s husband Martin has been involved with UDA leaders in community work for several years. South Belfast brigadier Jackie McDonald regularly visits Aras an Uachtarain.
Confirming the invitations on Wednesday to the Islandbridge leg of the Queen’s visit Mr McDonald said “this represents progress and is a reward for work being done. Others could learn from this.”
éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has “condemned the decision to invite unionist death squad leaders” and released a statement announcing that on top of existing éirígí plans for protests in and around the Queen’s visit – which include setting up a “freedom camp” in the Garden of Remembrance – they will be organising a specific protest when the Islandbridge wreathlaying ceremony takes place. Leeson said:
This is an outrageous decision. Those organising this entire visit are intent on heaping insult after insult on the people of this city and indeed the entire country
It is bad enough that they invite Windsor, the Commander in Chief of the British military who, in collusion with loyalist death squads were responsible for the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. Now they want to rub salt in the wounds of the victims families by inviting the loyalist death squads themselves as special guests to Dublin.
History, remembering, commemorating and moving on are never simple on this island.
[oneill simultaneously blogged on the UDA’s invitation.]
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political events, reviews cultural performances, chairs discussions, and live-tweets, streams and records lectures and conferences. He delivers social media training, coaching and consultancy, produces podcasts, is a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, FactCheckNI board member, and is a member of the Corrymeela Community.