IRA support group in Scotland set to march through Glasgow

By Jack Aitchison

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As our readers know, FRN takes a generally pro Irish Republican line, as does the New Resistance political movement

GLASGOW – By Jack Aitchison – Friends of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association have planned a parade through the city in September. The Irish republican group that publicly supports the IRA is planning a march through Glasgow .

Around 300 people are expected to take to the streets for the Friends of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) march through the city on September 7.

A Facebook page for the group regularly shares pro-IRA content, including phrases such as “unfinished revolution, unfinished business” and “up the IRA”.

A pro-IRA post on the Friends of IRPWA Scotland Facebook page (Image: Facebook)

One post shows four balaclava-clad figures holding assault rifles in an IRA banner, along with a quote from Bobby Sands – who died in a British prison on hunger strike in 1981 and who is seen as an iconic figure by many Irish Republicans.

The IRPWA also has close ties – and shares an office in Derry – with Saordh, a republican group that is widely considered to be the political wing of the New IRA.

In April, the office walls were coated in red handprints by friends of Lyra McKee following her death – which the New IRA has accepted responsibility for.

A large police presence kept Saoradh/IRPWA supporters and counter-protesters apart in April (Image: Internet unknown)

Glasgow City Council has published notice of the Friends of IRPWA march on their website.

The council say the procession plans are still at an early stage, with both the council and the police set to meet with organisers at a later date.

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It shows that an estimated 300 people are planning to take part in the procession, which sets off from Blythswood Square at around 12pm on September 7.

Lyra McKee’s friends red-hand protest at the IRPWA and Saordh office in Derry (Image: PA)

From there they will head down Blythswood Street, Cadogan Street, Douglas Street, Argyle Street, Queen Street, Ingram Street, Glassford Street, Trongate , Gallowgate, before finishing At Barrowlands Park.

According to its website, the IRPWA is set up to look after the welfare of republican prisoners, and is “not aligned to any political party”.

A number of arrests were made in April when the IRPWA and Saoradh – Irish for “liberation” – paraded in the city for Easter Rising commemorations.

Cemetery in Lambhill, Glasgow, defaced by anti-IRA graffiti after the Saoradh and IRPWA demo in April (Image: Daily Record)

The IRPWA posted on Facebook about the April march, which they held to “remember the gallant men and women of Óglaigh na hÉireann [soldiers/volunteers of Ireland] who fought and died for Ireland’s freedom.”

Anti-IRA graffiti was also sprayed at a cemetery in Lambhill, where the group were due to meet for a wreath-laying cemetery.

The IRA announced an end to its armed campaign in 2005 as part of the peace process and the group made it clear it would instead work to achieve its aims of a united Ireland by peaceful political means.

However, it still remains a proscribed organisation under the UK Terrorism Act 2000.

A number of splinter groups such as the Continuity IRA, the Real IRA and the New IRA reject the Good Friday Agreement and their members continue to engage in paramilitary activity.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We have received a notification from the organiser of the proposed march and will meet with them and police in due course.”

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From the Daily Record

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