POLICE ATTACKED WITH PETROL AND PAINT BOMBS AT DISSDIDENT REPUBLICAN EASTER MONDAY PARADE
TROUBLE flared at the City Cemetery in Derry this afternoon before the start of an Easter republican commemoration parade.
Police Land Rovers came under attack with petrol and paint bomb at Eastway in the Creggan.
The violence erupted around 3 pm with one Land Rover being struck by a petrol bomb.
There was a police presence in the area ahead of the parade while the police helicopter hovered overhead to gather evidence against those involved.
Several hundred dissident republican supporters gathered for the event as a 12 strong colour party, wearing masks and berets entered the cemetery.
They were accompanied by the John Brady Memorial Flute Band and flowers and wreaths were laid at the republican plot.
The 1916 Proclamation was read out before a statement on behalf of republican prisoners in Maghaberry, Portlaoise and Hybebank prisons was read out.
The main oration at the commemoration was delivered by former republican prisoner Thomas Ashe Mellon, who was jailed last year after he admitted writing a note which was caught being smuggled into Maghaberry jail.
Mellown, who is regarded by the security forces as being a senior member of the ‘New IRA’ leadership in Derry, said: “Our own city has felt the revolutionary ethos of the men and women of 1916 for the last 100 years.
“Derry is the worst area for unemployment and indeed poverty so we remain committed to the principles of 32 county socialist republic in order to address the inequalities caused by capitalism.
“Freestate leader, Michael D Higgins said over the weekend that without the 1916 Rising he would not be head of an independent country.
“But, six counties of Ireland remain under military occupation by thousands of British soldiers, a similar number in the PSNI, MI5 operatives, a compliant judiciary and a loyalist prison service. Resistance against this shall continue.”
Mellon, who is not long out of jail, described the Northern Ireland Assembly as a “Brit puppet parliament”.
He added: “Sinn Fein have abandoned republicans and have no right to the legacy of 1916. They are quislings, collaborators and traitors.
“Activists from this city must be at the core of this movement and our activist base is increasing and will articulate these ideas to create a 32 county socialist republic.
“We are the unfinished revolution. In the words of Seán Mac Diarmada, a signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, ‘Damn your concessions England, we want our country.”
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin later said the Derry dissident republican parade was one of a number across the North of Ireland on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday which are now being investigated for public order breaches.