ESSENTIAL FORENSICS

St Patrick’s parade: Dissident pressure fails to stop officers

Posted on | Posted in Blog

PSNI contingent will make history when they march in New York on March 17.

Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are poised to make history by becoming the first personnel from the force to march in the New York St Patrick’s Day parade.

A spokesman confirmed that a six-strong contingent would be taking part in the famous event, despite reports that pressure had been put on the organisers to withdraw the invitation.

The officers – who were selected to attend because of their participation in last year’s World Police and Fire Games – will march alongside colleagues from the An Garda Sichocana on March 17.

It had been reported that the parade committee had come under attack from dissident Republican groups in both the USA and Northern Ireland for their decision to allow the officers to march.

Organisers were subjected to phone calls and a social media campaign as part of a concerted attempt to have the historic invitation withdrawn, it has been suggested.

A PSNI spokesman said that the force was pleased to be invited.

He added: “The officers will be led by a chief inspector and were selected to attend because of their participation in the 2013 World Police and Fire Games held in Northern Ireland.”

Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay added: “We are delighted to have six officers in New York representing the PSNI and participating in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.”

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