Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Dissident republican rally speech sparks demand for ban

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.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz