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Lurgan republican parade: 81 people reported to Public Prosecution Service

Police arrested twelve men following an un-notified dissident republican parade in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on May 28. Picture by Mal McCann

POLICE investigating an un-notified republican parade in Lurgan have reported 81 people to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Several hundred people attended the Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) march - which included a masked colour party - through Kilwilkie estate on May 28.

The parade was organised to open a memorial garden to Lurgan man Edward Costello, killed during the 1916 Easter Rising, and other republicans.

Police arrested 12 men, including several from the Republic, at the parade.

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said the police investigation had now finished.

He said the 81 people had been reported to the PPS for crimes including participating in an un-notified parade and the wearing of paramilitary style uniforms.

"This was one of the largest investigations of its kind in this area and the number of people reported reflects the tenacious and professional investigation that followed the incident," he said.

He said police "want to work with communities so they can conduct events in a way that is peaceful and lawful, however we will thoroughly investigate instances where it is alleged the law has been broken".

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said the march was "an illegal republican paramilitary parade" which had included "children in paramilitary clothing with their faces covered".

He added: "The expression of an individual's culture is a right that must be respected, but this went well beyond what any reasonable person would call an expression of culture or identity.

"The PSNI have worked hard to bring these cases to the PPS and they must be commended for their actions."

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