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Wednesday 25 May 2016

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Dissident republican rally speech sparks demand for ban

Published 06/04/2010

Sinister: Masked flag bearers lead the 32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter Rising parade in Derry
Sinister: Masked flag bearers lead the 32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter Rising parade in Derry

A DUP MLA wants dissident republican rallies banned after a sinister warning was issued at an Easter Monday commemoration in Londonderry.

Representatives from various republican factions were among the hundreds of people who gathered at Derry City Cemetery to mark the 94th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

They heard a representative from terror group Oglaigh na hEireann vow that dissident actions in the coming year would be “louder than a thousand words”.

There was no visible police presence during yesterday’s rally, although checkpoints were set up on Craigavon Bridge earlier in the afternoon.

DUP Policing Board member Tom Buchanan called for stronger PSNI action.

“These people should not be given the opportunity to get up and make such outrageous statements,” he said.

“The PSNI needs to explain why they have stepped back and allowed this type of thing to happen without intervening.

“There needs to be stronger action taken in these types of commemoration parades after seeing and hearing what has happened today.

“This should be a good enough marker to be able to stop these parades taking place in future, given the way they are trying to promote their murderous organisation.”

Mr Buchanan said he intended to submit a series of questions over the PSNI’s handling of dissident rallies at the next Policing Board meeting.

Eight members of the self-styled Oglaigh na hEireann, in camouflage combat fatigues, black berets and with faces obscured by dark glasses and green scarves over their mouths, formed a colour party at yesterday’s march.

Wreaths were laid at the Chuchulainn monument in the cemetery from representatives of groups including the IRSP, Derry County 32 County Sovereignty Movement (CSM), the Irish Prisoners' Welfare Association and the Republican Network For Unity.

An Oglaigh na hEireann member warned: “Our actions this year will be louder than 1,000 words”.

He sent a message of solidarity to republicans in jail, “especially in Maghaberry”.

Crowds clapped as they were told that prisoners remained in the kitchen area of the prison after refusing to return to their cells on Sunday.

The main address was given by Old Bailey bomber Marian Price, the secretary of the 32 CSM.

She said it was inevitable that more people would be jailed because of their beliefs.

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