A crowd estimated to be in excess of ten thousand took part in the march through the County Londonderry town on Saturday afternoon. Marchers and bands from all over Ireland, Scotland and Liverpool were in attendance alongside Sinn Fein members such as Stormont Minister Michelle O'Neill and former East Londonderry MLA Francie Brolly.
There is an official Sinn Fein account of the event on youtube, which runs to 19 minutes, and there are a number of other videos of the event on youtube. I haven't yet had time to look at all of these but even the official Sinn Fein account contains shots of two Sinn Fein cumann banners with IRA men and assault rifles. Moreover several of the bands contain specific references to the Provisional IRA in that they are named after members of that organisation, such as Volunteer Billy Reid and Volunteer Sean McIlvenna.
Brian Kennaway told us that Roman Catholics have a particular view about the sanctity and significance of church buildings, even if they are empty, closed up and locked. Then surely many of those organising and taking part in the Sinn Fein hunger strike commemoration would hold that view. In that case they cannot plead ignorance when they march past a Protestant church with bands playing republican tunes and with depictions of IRA weapons and references to IRA terrorists on the Sinn Fein cumman banners and on the sides of some of the bass drums..
I will be writing to the Parades Commission about this and asking whether they have ever investigated such behaviour by republican groups and republican bands outside a Protestant church.
I will also be raising with the BBC their coverage, or lack of coverage, of what happened in Dungiven.