A masked member of the Real IRA reads a statement to supporters at Creggan cemetery, Derry, during a commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has defended itself against unionist charges that it demonstrated weakness over a Real IRA rally inDerry.
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell demanded a “more serious approach” to commemorations in which masked Real IRA members issued statements promising more violence.
The Democratic Unionist party’s security spokesman said: “I think that unless we see some sort of response now in terms of further arrests, unless we see that leading to a non-repeat of this, then we have got to have a different approach.”
The PSNI waited until after an Easter Monday commemoration marking the 1916 Easter Rising finished at Derry’s Creggan cemetery before moving to detain six men. Although the police did monitor the pro-Real IRA rally from a police helicopter there were no officers on the ground inside the cemetery.
The Derry PSNI area commander, Chief Inspector Gary Eaton, defended his officers’ approach to the republican demonstration. He said: “Any alleged breaches of criminal law reported to police or coming to our attention will be rigorously and thoroughly investigated.
“The PSNI work to ensure that all their actions are appropriate, proportionate and lawful. Our priorities are to protect the public, preserve public order, uphold the human rights of all and gather evidence of any wrongdoing.”
Several hundred dissident republican supporters attended a march to the cemetery, where wreaths were laid.
A Real IRA spokesman dressed in a balaclava and black combat gear said “Óglaigh na hÉireann” would continue to attack “crown forces” and “British interests and infrastructure”.
The six men remained in custody in the PSNI’s serious crime suite in Antrim town police station on Tuesday. WITH MANY THANKS TO: THE GAURDIAN.
- 7 charged with terror crimes in Real IRA crackdown (sfgate.com)
- Six held after RIRA threatens police (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- RIRA plan for more violence (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Bomb thrown at Derry police as city prepares for Olympic torch relay (guardian.co.uk)
- Real IRA Vows To Continue Its Deadly Attacks (news.sky.com)
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