Unionists call for Declan McGlinchey anniversary parade in Bellaghy to be called off

Republican Declan McGlinchey who died last year
Republican Declan McGlinchey who died last year

Unionists are calling for a parade to mark the death of a prominent republican to be called off, following comments from his widow that the parade is “disrespectful”

Declan McGlinchey’s widow, Brenda, described plans for a parade in his home village of Bellaghy as “hugely disrespectful”.

Unionists from the Mid Ulster area say the parade should be called off, regardless of any “dispute between the organisers and the McGlinchey family”. Declan McGlinchey, son of notorious INLA gunman Dominic, died on November 1 last year from a heart attack, aged 39.

A parade by the Martyrs of Eireann Independent Flute Band, which is expected to pay tribute to Mr McGlinchey, is due to take place in Bellaghy on Saturday October 29. The march is due to begin at 3pm and will involve 10 flute bands, and an estimated 450 participants and supporters.

Brenda McGlinchey, speaking to the Irish News, said the parade was “against the family’s wishes”. She said: “Neither myself nor any of my children want this to be done.”

UUP MLA Sandra Overend said: “I don’t think any parade glorifying terrorism should be taking place in Bellaghy, or anywhere else in Northern Ireland.”

DUP MLA Keith Buchannan agreed, saying: “Regardless of what is behind the dispute between the organisers of this parade and the McGlinchey family this parade should not be taking place. The funeral of Declan McGlinchey was accompanied by masked men, paramilitary displays and a ‘show of strength’ by gunmen.

“There is every likelihood that this parade will similarly be used to glorify terrorism and therefore should not be taking place.”