Northern Ireland

Attacks on members of the media after dissident march ‘extremely disappointing’

A number of young people with masks covering their faces were at the parade in Creggan carrying crates of petrol bombs and lumps of masonry.

Youths carried crates of petrol bombs and concrete blocks during the Easter Monday dissident republican parade through the Creggan estate to the City Cemetery in Derry. NO BYLINE /  1-4-2024 MML
Derry Easter Young children among youths waiting with petrol bombs close to St Mary's Church in the Creggan estate after the Easter Monday dissident republican parade made its way through the area to the City Cemetery in Derry. (MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY )

Attacks on members of the media after a dissident march in Derry were extremely disappointing and completely unnecessary, the PSNI assistant chief constable has said.

On Monday, petrol bombs were thrown at members of the media after a dissident march to mark the anniversary of the Easter Rising.

The event, organised by the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee, started in the Central Drive area of Creggan before making its way to the City Cemetery.

There was a colour party of people wearing face coverings, sunglasses and paramilitary-style dress, carrying the Irish flag and a host of republican flags.



Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton said the vast majority of the 80 parades that took place across Northern Ireland were peaceful and lawful.

“I want to put on record my thanks to these event organisers and participants who have worked with us helping to keep people safe,” he said in a statement.

“What we saw unfold in Creggan on Easter Monday, in particular the attacks on journalists, was extremely disappointing and completely unnecessary.

“We are supporting those affected and have commenced an investigation with a view to bringing those responsible to justice.

“What we saw yesterday was an unrepresentative, small minority who remain intent on causing violence and disorder and who will exploit local young people in the process.

“Moving forward, we’ll continue to focus on delivering policing with the community in Creggan.

“We welcome the broad condemnation of these events, and we are grateful for the wide support we’ve had from across the community since yesterday.”

A number of young people with masks covering their faces were at the parade carrying crates of petrol bombs and lumps of masonry.

Members of the media came under attack after the march, with a number of petrol bombs thrown.

The National Union of Journalists condemned the harassment and intimidation of reporters and photographers.

Seamus Dooley, assistant general secretary, described the treatment of journalists as “completely unacceptable and deeply disturbing”.

He said: “I have received reports from journalists covering the event and spoken to a photographer chased from the area.

“This type of behaviour has no place in a democratic society. Coming just a few weeks before the anniversary of the killing of Lyra McKee, and a day after what would have been her 34th birthday, this is a profoundly depressing development.

“To again see young men carrying petrol bombs and masked men marching in paramilitary uniforms is very disturbing.

“The attempt to intimidate photographers and reporters must be condemned. I understand one man warned photographers to ‘get out of Creggan’.

“It is extremely fortunate that no one was seriously injured by the petrol bombs and the consequences of the reprehensible behaviour could have been more serious.

“There was a clear strategy in place to intimidate photographers and to attempt to intimidate individual members of the media corps.”