A dissident republican organisation have been told to get with the times after lashing out at a recent display by the Red Arrows.
The minor political organisation known as Republican Sinn Féin slammed the recent Red Arrows display last weekend as “collaboration with an imperial force”.
The Deputy Mayor of Londonderry, DUP Councillor Gary Middleton, shrugged off the comments and urged Republican Sinn Fein to “catch up with the rest of society”
A statement published on the Republican Sinn Féin website, attributed to Seán Ó Dubhláin, read: “The recent display by the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows Aerobatic Team over the skies of Donegal is further proof, if proof is needed of the growing collaborative nature of the status quo in Ireland.”
“Donegal County Council had ratified the decision to allow the RAF’s Red Arrows fly in Donegal along with Derry City Council and Limavady Borough Council, a decision which was lauded as a huge tourism boost for the region.”
“We of Republican Sinn Féin want to put on public record exactly what this is. The Red Arrows are part and parcel of the British military, an Aerobatic team drawn from the Royal Air Force which has partaken in many of Britain’s imperial wars of conquest from 1918 to present times.”
“The people of Greencastle, County Donegal were witness to a display of Red, White and Blue smoke searing across the skies of Donegal. These colours represent one thing and one thing only, the colours of occupation, representative of the Union Jack and its political establishment headed by Queen Elizabeth and currently maintaining a military occupation of the Irish counties; Derry, Tyrone, Down, Fermanagh, Armagh and Antrim.”
“We condemn outright this further act of blatant collaboration with an imperial force of occupation in our country and call on the Irish people to rally behind the republican movement in defence of Ireland’s national sovereignty and integrity.”
DUP Alderman Gary Middleton, however, pointed to the huge crowds who enjoyed the maritime festival and the Red Arrows display. He said: “Last week, well over 200,000 people enjoyed the Clipper maritime festival and all of the wonderful events that came along with it. From the Clipper boat arrivals on the Monday morning to the magnificent firework display on the Saturday night, the citizens of Londonderry and neighbouring councils came out in force to enjoy all that was on offer.
“The week ended with a magnificent display by the RAF red arrows. Thousands of people from Donegal, Londonderry, and visitors from wider afield enjoyed the spectacular display by one of the worlds best air display teams. In relation to recent statement from Republican SF. I think it’s time that they catch up with the rest of society.”