Belfast Telegraph

Dissidents plan paramilitary-style Easter parade in Belfast

By Suzanne Breen

Several thousand dissident republicans are to hold their Easter parade in Belfast this year - which is expected to be led by a colour party in paramilitary-style clothing.

They will march from Divis Street up the Falls Road to Milltown Cemetery. Eight bands will take part and the Easter Saturday gathering will be addressed by a high-profile anti-Agreement republican.

The militant republican party Saoradh claimed the anniversary would be "an opportunity for those who legitimately continue to struggle for Irish freedom by whatever means necessary to re-dedicate ourselves to the ongoing fight to end the British occupation of our country".

It will apply to the Parades Commission for permission to march. Two similar Easter parades in Coalisland and Londonderry were led by colour parties of masked men and women wearing black berets, sunglasses and paramilitary style clothing.

Around 2,000 people attended last year's event in Derry which was addressed by former prisoner Paul Duffy, a brother of leading Lurgan republican Colin Duffy.

Paul Duffy told the crowd that republicans had "unfinished business". He urged them to "join with us in this honourable struggle that lies ahead" and "stand with us in our fight for freedom".

Unionists were enraged that the parade was allowed and said police should have made arrests. The PSNI pledged to review evidence gathered from the march.

The Belfast Telegraph understands files were sent to the PPS but no prosecutions followed. In a statement giving details of next month's Belfast parade, a Saoradh spokesman called the 1916 Rising "an unfinished revolution, armed and otherwise".

He said: "While the republican movement has listened to the opinions of those who state that the time is not right for a continuation of revolution by any and all means, it is our opinion that while the denial of national self-determination and British occupation continue, so too will armed revolution.

"Those who remain true to the principles of the 1916 proclamation, need to publicly re-dedicate ourselves to the achievement of that vision. Therefore, collectively via radical politics, organised communities and other means, the fight against occupation must continue."

Belfast Telegraph

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