Aontú Craigavon Councillor Fergal Lennon has condemned the hanging of a provocative banner in Lurgan town centre.

The banner, which calls for support for the only British soldier due to stand trial for murder in relation to the Bloody Sunday massacre, was erected in Lurgan last night.

Councillor Lennon stated:

“The mass murder of civilians by the British Army in January 1972 was wrong. It was a crime against the fourteen people who lost their lives, their families, the people of Derry and indeed the people of Ireland.

The decades of hardship endured by the families and survivors of Bloody Sunday must not be prolonged any further. Their pain must not be added to. The ceaseless efforts made, against the tremendous weight of the British state, over the past 47 years by the Bloody Sunday families and survivors in pursuit of truth and justice deserves the support of the whole community.

When any state commits an atrocity, it is right that ordinary citizens rally together in support of victims and their families. It is not right that the powerful are given a ‘free pass’ for their wrongdoing and crimes. Aontú is clear that the British state and its armed forces should be held accountable for the murder of civilians on Bloody Sunday. The British state and its armed forces must be held responsible for Bloody Sunday and all crimes it perpetrated. The British state and those who acted on its behalf in carrying out killings must be held accountable.

Ensuring that justice is done means that those individual soldiers of the Parachute Regiment responsible for killing unarmed civilians should be brought to trial. Soldier ‘F’ is due to stand trial for the murder of Jim Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Michael Quinn, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell. It is not acceptable that some people would disregard the suffering and injustice wrought on these individuals, their families and the wider community with a motivation to beat a tribal drum and stir tensions with their neighbours.

Aontú is calling for the immediate removal of this banner.”