32 County Sovereignty Movement members remove an RAF banner from a hoarding in Derry city yesterday.
An RAF recruitment billboard in Derry’s Brandywell area has been torn down by dissident republicans.
The large RAF Royal Air Force Reserves recruitment billboard was erected at the junction of Lone Moor Road and Foyle Road in recent days. Members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) pulled down the billboard – which faced drivers entering the city from Co Donegal – yesterday afternoon. However, as they were doing so, representatives of the company which erected the poster arrived to remove it as well after they were contacted by the SDLP. Police filmed the removal of the poster from a discreet distance. 32CSM spokesman, Gary Donnelly claimed people living in the Brandywell area were furious that the billboard was erected. “This is a complete insult to the people of the Brandywell. It’s also a disgrace that it should have been put up within yards of the route of the Bloody Sunday march, particularly at this time of the year with the anniversary coming up,” Mr Donnelly said. Derry SDLP spokesman Emmet Doyle said such posters could cause hurt and distress in some areas. “A number of peope have been in touch to say how disgusted they are and how they find the poster deeply offensive, especially given this time of the year in the lead up to the anniversary of Bloody Sunday,” he said. Stangford DUP MLA Jonathan Bell criticised the SDLP veiw. “The RAF has a proud distinguished history of service and recruits people from all parts of the Uniited Kingdom regardless of their political beliefs or religious persuasion and rightly so. “Many will find it bizarre if the SDLP is opposed to RAF jobs being advertised. Such a stance suggests they have forsaken any semblance of commitment to a shared future and equality let alone fair employment.”
With many thanks to: Seamus McKinney, The Irish News.