Northern Ireland news

Lurgan Republican Sinn Féin parade passes off without incident

Republican Sinn Féin holds an Easter Rising commemoration in Lurgan. Picture by Mal McCann
Connla Young

A Republican Sinn Féin Easter commemoration in Co Armagh passed off with incident.

The same event last year was disrupted after a major PSNI operation resulted in the arrest of members of a masked colour party which had taken part in a short procession.

This year a three-man colour party lined up at a republican garden of remembrance on the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan on Saturday afternoon.

Those taking part later made their way to the republican plot at nearby St Colman's Cemetery where wreaths were laid.

There was visible PSNI presence in the area before commemoration took place and several Land Rovers with fixed cameras watched on as a police helicopter circled overhead.


During speeches reference was made to last year's PSNI operation during which dozens of officers swamped the area and detained members of the colour party.

Republican Sinn Féin president Des Dalton speaking at an Easter Rising commemoration in Lurgan. Picture by Mal McCann

The main address at the garden of remembrance was made by former Republican Sinn Féin president Des Dalton.

Speaking in a personal capacity he referred to the killing of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry last week.

“The shooting dead of the innocent journalist Lyra McKee is something no republican can defend,” he said.

“It was senseless and reckless act, robbing a courageous and independent journalist of her right to life.

“Republicans need to take stock of where we are.

“As an Irish republican I will not defend those who carried out this action.”

Republican Sinn Féin hold an Easter commemoration in Lugan, Co Armagh. Picture by Mal McCann

Mr Dalton said that republicans need to “take stock of the strategy and tactics that can best advance the cause of a free Ireland, a strategy that is capable of securing the support and good will of nationalist/republican people throughout Ireland”.

He also referred to Brexit and claimed it had “exposed the the 1998 Stormont Agreement as an empty shell”.

He said that the “British Tory elite cling to power by 'playing the Orange card" but that the DUP has recently found that the British are willing to abandon them “whenever political expediency dictates” and that this has always been the attitude of the the British.

“That is why Irish republicans have continually pointed to the new Ireland that is set out in the Éire Nua programme,” he said.

“Here the sovereignty of all sections of the Irish people, Protestant Catholic and Dissenter is enshrined.”

“Those within the broader unionist community are invited to take their place within the Irish nation, here their full participation in the exercise of decision making will not be subject to the whims and caprice of a foreign parliament.

“A new Ireland can never emerge from either Stormont, Leinster House or Westminster.”

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