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'A disgusting attempt at intimidation': Republican group criticised for O'Connell Street march after Lyra McKee killing

The march comes less than 48 hours after the 29-year-old journalist was killed in Derry.

republican 137_90569393 Members of Saoradh during a march in Dublin city Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

FINE GAEL SENATOR Neale Richmond has criticised a republican march which took place in Dublin city centre this afternoon, less than 48 hours after journalist Lyra McKee was killed by dissident republicans in Derry. 

Republican group Saoradh held a demonstration on Dublin’s O’Connell Street this afternoon. It’s understood that several hundred people took part in the march. 

In a statement following the demonstration, Richmond, who chairs the Seanad’s Brexit Committee, said: “Today’s antics in Dublin city centre by Saoradh have no place on the streets of our capital.”

“The tragic events of Thursday night in Derry that resulted in the cold murder of the wonderful Lyra McKee were a flashback to a very dark period of our history that every decent soul on this island are determined to leave behind.”

Today’s demonstration, which began at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square, was not required to hold a permit because the attendance was less than 5,000 people, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council told TheJournal.ie.

Demonstrators were seen marching down the city’s main thoroughfare wearing green military-style jumpers and reflective sunglasses. A number of those marching today carried tri-colour flags and a banner which read: “Unfinished Revolution – Unfinished Business”. 

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has reported that a statement on Saoradh’s website, which has since been disabled, said that McKee’s death was a result of an “incursion” by “heavily armed crown forces” in the Creggan estate on Thursday evening.

“A republican volunteer attempted to defend people from the PSNI/RUC. Tragically a young journalist, Lyra McKee, was killed accidentally.”

March. Saoradh's march was part of the group's Easter commemorations. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

McKee’s death has been blamed on the so-called new IRA. Her killing has been widely condemned across the political spectrum. 

The PSNI has since launched a murder inquiry, and has arrested two men aged 18 and 19 under the Terrorism Act in connection with her murder. 

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said earlier today that the actions of those opposed to the Good Friday agreement “serve no cause and their continued existence only brings hardship, injury and death. The war is over, the future is in the hands of all who share this island.”

“A new and united Ireland will not come from conflict, but by dialogue, agreement and democracy.”

Following this afternoon’s march in the capital, which ended at around 5pm, Richmond said that “paramilitary style parades like we’ve seen today are a disgusting attempt at intimidation by a worthless organisation intent on bringing back misery.”

We must be clear that Saoradh and the dissidents they defend do not act in our name.

Asked about today’s march, a garda spokesman said earlier: “A peaceful demonstration is currently underway at O’Connell St in Dublin. No incidents have been reported. Gardaí are at scene.”

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