Belfast Telegraph

Police arrest nine after clashes at republican parade in Lurgan - woman injured

Nine people have been arrested after an un-notified republican parade in Lurgan.

The annual Easter Rising commemoration took place along the Levin Road at 1pm on Saturday, and involved eight people dressed in paramilitary-style uniforms and wearing masks.

The march is understood to have been organised by Republican Sinn Fein.

Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of offences under Section 13 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2000 (wearing uniform and carrying items which give cause to believe he or she was a supporter of a proscribed organisation) and taking part in an un-notified procession under Section 6 of the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998.

The ninth person was arrested on suspicion of assault on a police office and obstruction.

Police have confirmed a woman was injured during the disturbance and was taken to hospital.

On Twitter, Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly wrote: "I have always said that commemorations need to be open, respectful and dignified. However I am concerned that an elderly woman has been injured in the Lurgan incident and I have raised this with senior police this evening.

"I have also raised the issue of police being consistent and even-handed for instance when loyalist paramilitaries have taken over and intimidated area in full view of PSNI."

Chief inspector Jon Burrows said: "Those who engage in un-notified parade wearing masks and paramilitary-style uniforms do not represent the majority of people who live in north Lurgan, indeed many of those who participate in this event every year are not from the local community and do not live in Lurgan.

"There have been similar parade in previous years organised by the same group and repeated prosecutions for related offences. Police have attempted to engage with members of this group advising them to comply with their illegal responsibilities in relation to processions.

"The police service have reported a number of people to the PPS over the past number of years in relation to this event and a significant number of people have been successfully prosecuted."

CI Burrows added that a woman had been injured during the incident and had been taken to hospital, and that enquiries are ongoing.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has praised the efforts of the PSNI for their efforts in dealing with parade participants.

Mrs Lockhart said following appeals from unionists and nationalists police had acted to stop the parade.

"I very much welcome the police operation to stop this illegal parade and glorification of terrorists. I hear plenty of comments from republicans on legal Orange parades but they are strangely silent when republicans decide to march whenever they want glorifying terror in an illegal march," she said.

"It is good to see a robust operation to prevent this illegality rather than a follow up arrest operation some weeks later. I congratulate the PSNI commanders who authorised this operation and the officers on the ground who implemented this plan effectively."

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