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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Photos: Police vans pelted with petrol bombs ahead of republican parade in Derry

Police said attempts were made to facilitate the 1916 commemoration “within the law” but these calls were ignored.

Easter parades Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

POLICE WERE ATTACKED by youths armed with petrol bombs in the Creggan area of Derry today, against the backdrop of an unauthorised nationalist parade commemorating the 1916 Rising.

Seven petrol bombs in all were thrown at police as well as stones and bottles. Although damage was caused to vehicles, there were no injuries reported.

Easter parades Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

The attacks on police came just before the march which began at 2pm in the Creggan estate and headed towards Derry city cemetery.

The PSNI were then attacked again at the cemetery.

Easter parades Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

Chief inspector Ivor Morton said: “In relation to today’s event in Derry we attempted to engage with the organisers of the parade over a period of time in a bid to facilitate their event within the law.

The organisers declined to enter into any discussions with police on this matter. The organisers also stated in the run-up to today’s event they were informed by Police the parade would be stopped and would not be allowed to go ahead. This was patently untrue and can only be viewed as an attempt by those behind the parade as a bid to raise tensions in the area.

Morton also described the attacks on police as “premeditated” and that after review of footage from today’s event, there would be “consequences through the criminal justice system”.

Easter parades Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

No arrests have been made as of yet.

Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill condemned the actions as “very disturbing”.

She tweeted: “Masked individuals, causing disturbance, youths throwing petrol bombs etc is far from dignified. Those responsible should be brought before the law.”

DUP MLA for Foyle Gary Middleton called on the PSNI to launch a full investigation into the incidents.

He said: “This was an unregistered parade and today the scenes coming from the Creggan area have been totally disgraceful.

Nobody has a desire to see the violence on display today, except for barbaric thugs intent on endangering life and property. The PSNI were there to protect the community – people who live in fear at displays and parades such as this one today.

Easter parades Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

A number of arrests were also made after an unauthorised parade in Lurgan on Saturday. Eight masked men, with ages ranging from 30-48, were dressed in paramilitary-style uniforms.

Read: UDA threat against journalist condemned

Read: Nine arrested after clashes with police at illegal Easter parade in Lurgan

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Sean Murray

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