Pro-IRA demonstration stopped in its tracks!

On 18th February a combined force of patriotic counter-demonstrators physically prevented a pro-IRA march through the centre of Liverpool: the first time that pro-Republican terrorist sympathisers have been defeated on the streets of Merseyside.

anti-IRA demo

The march had been organised by the Friends of Ireland (Cairde nahÉireann), a group that is strongly linked to Sinn Fein / IRA, and was officially dedicated to Sean Phelan, a Liverpool born IRA terrorist who was killed by the British Army while ambushing a train at Upton, near Cork, in 1921.

The Republican Flute Bands taking part included several directly inspired by notorious terrorists such as:

  • the Volunteer Billy Reid Republican Flute Band, named after Belfast IRA gunman Billy Reid, who in 1971 murdered Robert Curtis, the first killing of a serving British soldier in Ulster since the 1920s.  Reid himself was shot dead by the British Army three months later while attempting another terrorist ambush.
  • James Connolly 1st Republican Flute Band, named after Edinburgh-born James Connolly, who commanded the IRA’s Dublin Brigade during the Easter Rising of 24th April 1916, resulting in almost 500 deaths.  Connolly was executed by firing squad after the Rising failed.
  • Volunteer Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty Republican Flute Band, named after IRA bomber Martin Doherty, shot dead in Dublin in 1994 by members of the UVF who carried out a daring attack on an IRA fundraising event.  Doherty’s family have recently joined senior IRA commanders in seeking to prevent rival IRA splinter groups from using his name.
  • Volunteer Sean McIlvenná Republican Flute Band, named after Belfast terrorist Sean McIlvenná, who was shot dead by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in December 1984 while carrying out a landmine attack on an Army patrol.

A Sinn Fein member of the Irish Parliament, Sandra McLellan, had been invited as guest of honour to this celebration of Liverpool’s role in IRA terrorism – just a few miles away from the town of Warrington, where IRA bomber murdered two nine-year-old boys, Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, in 1993.

Counter-demonstrators mobilised in the centre of Liverpool from a number of patriotic groups: Combined Ex-Forces; ex-servicemen mainly from the King’s Regiment, including Mike Mosley; British People’s Party, including Kevin Watmough; England First Party, including party chairman and Heritage and Destiny editor Mark Cotterill; Infidels of Britain, including their leader John ‘Snowy’ Shaw; members of the BNP Veterans group, including Pete Molloy; and Highfield Loyalists, from Liverpool.

The result was a comprehensivc defeat for the IRA’s fellow travellers, as recorded in their own words below:

“Just back from Liverpool Irish Patriots RFB Vol. Sean Phelan march in Kirkdale, Liverpool. A bad day for Republicanism and anti Fascism as the fascists and loyalists mobilised and were in big enough numbers and militant enough mood to stop the LIPRFB and 6 Scottish RFBs and followers getting anywhere near Liverpool City Centre. Stopped after a few hundred metres on Vauxhall Road. While bands of fascists roamed across Liverpool where were the Liverpool anti fascists?
“…this is the first time fascists/loyalists have stopped Irish Republicans marching in Liverpool- they will be emboldened and confident of stopping all republican and socialist marches in future in this city.”

Another pro-IRA website commented:

“On Saturday, a mob of between 150-250 fascists ran free on the streets of Liverpool. As well as hounding a tiny demonstration against police brutality out of Derby Square, they were able to turn an Irish Republican march way from the City Centre. Saturday was a definite win for the far-right and underlines the need for a serious re-evaluation of anti-fascist organisation.
…It was infuriating to concede the streets to the fascists, and a decision that will only see them grow in confidence for future actions, but we were essentially left with no choice in the name of safety. …The events on Saturday were in turns grim and frustrating, as well as frightening for those new to this kind of activity.”

There’s not a lot we can add to that!  Except to thank all those who turned out in response to our appeal on this website and elsewhere, to defeat militant pro-IRA demonstrators on the streets of a city that they naively believed they controlled!

Congratulations to the combined forces of British patriotism – a long overdue victory!

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