Children in paramilitary uniform take part in republican parade
CHILDREN in berets and sunglasses have joined republicans marching in west Belfast to remember a teenage IRA member killed in a bomb blast 25 years ago.
Patricia Black died along with fellow IRA member Frankie Ryan when a bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely in London on November 15, 1991.
Ms Black grew up in the Lenadoon area of west Belfast and joined the IRA aged 17.
Republicans from across Ireland attended Sunday’s parade, which was organised by the National Republican Commemoration Committee.
Several hundred people and three bands marched through Lenadoon where a short ceremony was held close to a mural dedicated to dead IRA members.
Nuala Perry, a leading member of the newly established anti-agreement political party Saoradh, spoke at the commemoration.
Several other prominent republicans also attended the parade including Tyrone based Saoradh chairman David Jordan and prominent republicans Colin Duffy and Dee Fennell.
At least three pre-teen children joined the parade, dressed in dark clothing, neck scarves and sunglasses.
The presence of young children dressed in uniform at a 2013 anti-agreement commemoration in Ardoyne was heavily criticised.
DUP MP Nigel Dodds referred the matter to the Children's Commissioner.