Northern Ireland news

Easter commemoration replaced by wreath laying ceremony

Plans for a major Easter Monday commemoration at Derry city cemetery have been scaled back to a wreath-laying ceremony.
Seamus McKinney

PLANS for a dissident republican Easter Monday commemoration in Derry have been scaled back following talks.

The Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee last week announced plans for a march and commemoration at the city cemetery. In a statement issued through republican group Saoradh the organisers called for people to attend the event.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan called on the organisers to abandon their plans due to covid regulations.

He also said he feared it would further raise tensions in the Creggan following a high-profile police search and arrest operation the previous week.

No Easter commemoration has been held in Creggan since 2018.

Last year’s event was moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic while the 2019 commemoration was cancelled after the New IRA killing of Lyra McKee.

In a statement issued yesterday organisers announced that events would be scaled back.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “The Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee having entered comradely talks with Saoradh have decided to alter our planned Easter Monday commemoration to a dignified wreath-laying ceremony.”

"We look forward to the day when once again we all can come together to hold a full commemoration,” the spokesman said.

It is understood numbers at Easter Monday’s commemoration will be kept to a minimum and there will be no march. Those attending have been asked to observe social distancing and to wear face coverings.

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