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Petrol bombs thrown at police at Derry Easter commemoration

Seamus McKinney
29 March, 2016 01:00

A NUMBER of petrol bombs were thrown at police at the start of the main Easter Monday dissident republican parade in Derry.

A 13-strong colour party wearing military-style clothing led the parade from the city’s Creggan roundabout to the republican plot at Derry city cemetery where high-profile former prisoner, Thomas Ashe Mellon delivered the oration.

As the parade assembled close to the gates of Derry city cemetery, police were attacked with petrol bombs as a Land Rover drover through the area with a message warning that the commemoration had not been properly notified to the Parades Commission.

A number of young people also threw stones at other Land Rovers as police used a loud speaker to warn anyone taking part that the parade had not been legally authorised. No-one was injured in the disturbances.

There was a high profile security presence throughout Monday’s commemoration with police vehicles patrolling the roads around the city cemetery and a police helicopter it the air.

In keeping with similar Easter commemoration events in Coalisland and Lurgan, the main colour party wore military-style uniforms and dark glasses. However, the participants did not have their faces covered.

Among the floral tributes laid at Derry’s republican monument was a wreath on behalf of the IRA while tributes were also laid by the republican prisoners’ association and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

In his address, leading republican, Mr Mellon attacked Irish President Michael D Higgins over his statement that 1916 Rising led to the independence of the Irish nation.

Mr Mellon said: "This ignores the reality that six of the 32 counties which make up the Irish nation remain under military occupation by the age old oppressor."

The Derry man - who was sentenced 28 months in 2014 in connection with an attempt to smuggle a note into Maghaberry prison - described Sinn Féin representatives as former comrades and "careerist politicians" and claimed they had no right to the legacy of the 1916 leaders.

"It is our responsibility to work effectively in a focused and strategic fashion to bring about the socialist republic that republican volunteer soldiers died for. We are the unfinished revolution," Mr Mellon said.

Following the commemoration, the parade dispersed peacefully.

29 March, 2016 01:00 News

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