Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“Last year the PSNI caused widespread offence in the Unionist community when they took part in the New York St Patrick’s Day parade. I wrote to the then Chief Constable pointing out that the official guidelines for the parade made it very clear that it is a deliberately anti-British event, epitomised by the fact that the only banner permitted is that which proclaims “England Get Out of Ireland”.
“I asked why the PSNI, a police service from the UK, was officially participating in a parade behind an anti-British and offensive banner endorsing the ‘Brits Out’ message which saw the IRA murder so many gallant police officers.
“I never received a satisfactory explanation.
“Before Christmas I wrote to the PSNI again pointing out that Martin Galvin, the former head of the Irish Northern Aid (NORAID) which funded the IRA and a hardline Republican, has been named an aide to Grand Marshal Cardinal Timothy Dolan for the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2015.
“Martin Galvin was once on the run from police officers in Northern Ireland and I wrote to request an assurance that we would not be in the ridiculous position that the PSNI will be lining up to march behind him at this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in New York.
“I welcome the fact that the PSNI have now assured me that they have not been invited to this year’s event. Furthermore, they will not be making duty credits available for officers or staff to attend the parade, there will be no PSNI funding for officers or staff attending and no officer who attends the parade will be regarded as being on duty. As that is the case, no officer or member of staff who attends will be permitted to wear PSNI uniform.
“I hope the PSNI have learned from attending this divisive event and that the mistakes of 2014 will not be repeated in the future.”