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Police investigating unauthorised loyalist parade in Portadown

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Police are investigating an unauthorised loyalist parade in Portadown.

Police are investigating an unauthorised loyalist parade in Portadown.

PA

Police are investigating an unauthorised loyalist parade in Portadown.

Police are investigating an un-notified loyalist parade in Portadown which saw masked men march through the town on Monday.

Pictures and videos of the incident circulated on social media, but there were no reports of the recent disorder seen in Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and Londonderry.

Inspector Ruston said: "Police have received a report regarding an un-notified Parade in the Jervis Street area of Portadown earlier today (Monday April 5). Enquires are ongoing to establish the circumstances of this event."

A senior Mid Ulster loyalist source has told the Belfast Telegraph the parade will be repeated in the coming days and that while “there are no plans for violence but groups gathering and unnotified parades will continue and whatever comes from that so be it”.

The gathering was slammed by Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd who compared the images of masked loyalists parading through the streets to a show of strength by "a loyalist mob" in the Pitt Park area of east Belfast in February "went on a rampage to intimidate families out of their homes".

“Irresponsible and dangerous sabre rattling and reckless rhetoric from Unionist politicians has seen tensions rise right across the community," he said.

“Their engagement with armed criminal gangs involved in murder, drug dealing, extortion and intimidation has emboldened these criminals to attack and injure members of the police and put the wider community at risk."

Mr O'Dowd has appealed for unionist leaders to show "more measured and responsible leadership before someone is killed or seriously injured by loyalist criminal gangs."

Belfast Telegraph


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