Northern Ireland

Derry Easter Monday parade organisers planning ‘dignified’ event

Trouble has flared at similar parades in the past

Derry Easter Commemoration parade
Derry Easter Commemoration parade Members of the colour party take part in last year's parade

The organisers of an unnotified Easter parade due to take place in Derry next week have said the event will be “dignified.”

The annual Easter Monday event is being organised by the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee, which has the support of anti-agreement party Saoradh.

Trouble flared at a similar events in previous years.

Last year petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown at PSNI vehicles as the unnotified parade, led by a masked colour party, made its way through the Creggan area to the city cemetery for a short commemoration.

Several people are currently facing charges in connection with that commemoration event.

Previously, the organisers of the Derry parade have not notified the Parades Commission of their intention to march despite a legal requirement to do so.

In a statement, the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee said it has “planned a dignified Easter commemoration that is being held in the republican Creggan estate, which will last less than one hour”.

The organisers accused the PSNI of causing last year’s trouble.

“Any violence that occurs on Easter Monday will be the sole responsibility of the crown forces,” they claimed.

“Being a republican is not a crime.

“Remembering Ireland’s patriot dead is not a crime.”

SDLP MLA and Policing Board member Mark H Durkan said the organisers “know there’s a process and that that door remains open to them right up to the time of the event”

“Everyone has the right to commemorate their dead and of course it should be done respectfully,” he said.

Mr Durkan added that “no-one wants to see any violence on the streets of Creggan or anywhere else”.

“Lets hope it can be avoided but it takes two to tango and there shouldn’t be any attempts therefore to provoke, prompt, a response from the PSNI that will then be used to excuse an escalation in violence and disorder,” he added.