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Easter commemoration parade in west Belfast

The Saoradh Parade makes its way to up the Falls Road to Milltown Cemetery. Picture by Mal McCann.

MEN and women dressed in combat-style clothing took part in an Easter Rising commemoration in west Belfast on Saturday.

Around 30 people took part in the colour party as part of an Easter parade organised by the National Republican Commemoration Committee (NRCC).

The NRCC was set up in advance of the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and organises events on behalf of anti-agreement republican party Saoradh.

The route of the parade from the international wall in the Lower Falls area to Milltown Cemetery was lined with tricolours and other republican flags.

Organisers say several thousand people took part in the parade which was billed as 'Unfinished Revolution - Unfinished Business'.

The letters 'IRA' - believed to be a reference to the paramilitary group sometimes referred to as the 'New IRA', were attached in several places to lampposts along the parade route.

The procession stopped several times along the route including at a republican garden of remembrance on the Falls Road and the former home 1916 leader James Connolly.

Similar parades have previously been held in Derry and Coalisland.

On arrival at the republican plot in Milltown statements were read out on behalf of republican prisoners at Maghaberry and Portlaoise prisons.

The main address was delivered by Tyrone republican Packy Carty who was critical of Sinn Féin and the SDLP accusing them if implementing “savage British austerity cuts”.

He also spoke about the opportunity presented by Brexit for republicans.

"Brexit has the potential to break up the British state and as such it offers Irish republicans an opportunity to realise our first great objective; the ending of the British occupation and the reunification of the Irish nation," he said.

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