MINISTER FOR foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has condemned a republican Easter Rising parade which took place yesterday in Derry, which was also the third anniversary of the death of journalist Lyra McKee.
Masked men and woman marched along the Bogside for the parade in Derry, despite a recent ruling from the parades commission that no paramilitary-style clothing could be worn at the event.
Several members of the crowd at the parade also attacked police with petrol bombs, leading to a number of arrests in the area.
Minister Coveney called the parade "shameful".
"There is absolutely no place for masked thugs marching anywhere on the island of Ireland," he tweeted.
"Our future won't be shaped by paramilitary intimidation and the twisted views of an anti democratic tiny minority."
Shameful. There is absolutely no place for masked thugs marching anywhere on the island of Ireland. Our future won’t be shaped by paramilitary intimidation and the twisted views of an anti democratic tiny minority. https://t.co/AT6Um9IhnO
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) April 18, 2022
Leader of the SDLP similarly said that those who orchestrated attacks on the police from the City Cemetery this afternoon will find no support among the people of Derry.
"Today is the third anniversary of the murder of Lyra McKee on the streets of our city. A young journalist who was trying to make a life for herself in Derry and who had so much to give to our community.
"Lyra’s memory continues to galvanise our resolve against the men of violence who prey on bigotry and hate. Derry stands with Lyra’s family, with Sara and with everyone who knew her today."
— Connla Young (@ConnlaYoung) April 18, 2022
The PSNI has confirmed that five men aged 29, 38, 40, 50 and 54 years old, were arrested under the Terrorism Act, with a sixth man (40), being arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour.
Police also seized a number of vehicles, suspected terrorist uniforms and petrol bombs.
Derry & Strabane District Commander, Chief Superintendent Ryan Henderson said:
"Earlier today, police were in attendance at a notified parade in the city. On the basis of initial observations, participants in the parade were assessed as having potentially committed criminal offences. Police monitored the event closely and, at what was considered to be an appropriate point, took action to secure evidence and make arrests.
"Whilst doing so, police officers cam under attack from petrol bombs and masonry.
"Our officers showed tremendous courage and professionalism in what was sill clearly a dangerous situation. Fortunately, none of our officers, or members of the public were injured as a result of this reckless and criminal behaviour. Our enquiries will continue over the coming days and weeks to bring offenders to justice."
Detective Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan also appealed for information in connection to the death of Lyra McKee.
"To date, as part of our ongoing investigation, we have made 30 arrests and nine people have been charged, three with murder and six with public order offences," he said.
"While grateful for the considerable public support we have received, we still need the public’s help. If anyone has any information about the events which led up to Lyra’s murder, and they have yet to come forward, please contact detectives in absolute confidence by calling 101. Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers charity completely confidentially 0800 555 111."