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Eighth arrest made as part of ongoing investigation into republican parade in Derry

  • Another man (44) arrested under Terrorism Act

An eighth arrest has been made by police in Derry as part of the ongoing investigation following a parade in the city on Monday.

A 44-year-old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act earlier on Tuesday and he remains in custody. A number of searches were also carried out at addresses in Creggan this afternoon.

Six other men, also arrested under the Terrorism Act yesterday, remain in custody at this time.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has branded the scenes in Londonderry at an Easter rally as “disgusting” and said the republican commemoration “shouldn’t have taken place”.

Mr Eastwood spoke to BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster after trouble flared on Monday at a dissident republican-linked Easter parade in Londonderry. 

PSNI Land Rovers were seen going up in flames before attempting to drive away from outside the city cemetery following Saoradh’s ‘national republican commemoration’.

Five men, aged 29, 38, 40, 50 and 54, were detained under the Terrorism Act. A sixth man (40) was arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour – with disruption igniting as officers moved in to make arrests.

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PSNI District Commander Ryan Henderson told BBC Radio Ulster there has been an additional arrest under the Terrorism Act overnight.

"The man, 45-aged years old, was arrested overnight under the Terrorism Act, and he remains in custody this morning,” a PSNI spokesperson added.

“Five other men arrested yesterday under the Terrorism Act also remain in custody at this time.

"A 40-year-old man arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour and resisting police has been charged to appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court on 11th May.

“As is normal procedure, the charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.”

The Foyle MP said the people of the city “totally and utterly reject this stuff and the people carrying it out”.

“They have no support whatsoever. The idea these people thought this was a good idea on the third anniversary of Lyra McKee’s murder is really revolting,” Mr Eastwood said.

“It just shows they don’t care about anybody other than their own twisted ideology.

“It isn't surprising these people would do this, we know what they are like, we know who they are.

“I think there is always going to be a very small level of support for these people the way to beat them is to show politics and democracy works.

“It is longer, it is more difficult, but that is the job we have to do to turn around our society. There is absolutely no excuse for any of this.”

Following the trouble, the sister of Lyra McKee, who was shot dead in the city, said those involved in the parade, which coincided with the third anniversary of her death, had “no dignity”.

Nichola McKee Corner told the Belfast Telegraph: “It’s absolutely shocking. Their premise for this parade was to honour people who died.

“What they’ve actually done is disrespected not only Lyra’s memory but the memory of the people they’re claiming to honour on this day by causing such civil disturbances in their own city.”

When asked if the parade should have been allowed to take place, Mr Eastwood responded “it shouldn’t have”.

“We said that before it happened. The idea these people are still parading around anyway is ridiculous,” he added.

“When a family who is grieving because of these people asks for a parade not to go ahead and they ignore it, I just find it beneath contempt.”

The parade took off from Free Derry Corner at around 3pm and arrived in the city cemetery, where wreaths were to be laid on the republican plot, shortly after 3.30pm.

It is thought that at least 2,000 people were in attendance, between marchers and those following the parade.

Men and women marching in the parade wore black, with masks covering their face up to their eyes. Many carried flags, including the tricolour and the flag of Ulster.

Saoradh, widely said to be the New IRA’s political wing, had warned of the potential for “conflict” at the commemoration.

Mr Henderson from the PSNI said it was “very clear” the petrol bomb attacks were premeditated and defended the police response when questioned if they had used excessive force in making arrests.

“There were petrol bombs. There was masonry ready to be thrown. I believe young people were being used,” the District Commander added.

"I want to reassure people decisions like the one taken yesterday to intervene are not taken lightly. We felt it was the appropriate time to intervene.

"Police officers acted with courage and restraint in making those arrests. I know the people in the community... don’t want to see those scenes.”

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