Police challenged over RIRA rally

Published Tuesday, 10 April 2012
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The DUP is calling on the police to explain why no attempt was made to stop a dissident republican rally in Londonderry from taking place.

Police challenged over RIRA rally
Gregory Campbell MP said a “different approach” may be needed. (© Pacemaker)

Six people were arrested and released without charge following the Easter Monday commemoration at City Cemetery, which was addressed by a masked spokesman for the Real IRA.

He read out a statement pledging that the organisation would continue its campaign of violence against the police and army in Northern Ireland.

The PSNI made no attempt to make arrests during the commemoration, with no officers visible on the ground - although they did monitor events from a helicopter hovering overhead.

It was only when the event ended that police took action, arresting six people who were taken to Antrim Serious Crime Suite for questioning.

Gregory Campbell, the DUP's spokesman on security issues, told UTV the police need to adopt a more serious approach.

He 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."

However, police said they "took the decision to run a low-key operational response" at the 32 County Sovereignty Movement commemoration.

Local area commander Chief Inspector Gary Eaton 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 wrong-doing."

Several hundred dissident republican supporters watched as the colour party marched to the cemetery on Monday, where wreaths were laid.

The spokesman, dressed in a balaclava and black combat gear, said Óglaigh na hÉireann would continue to attack "Crown forces" and "British interests and infrastructure".

His words were met with applause by the crowd.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
14 Comments
David in Spain wrote (872 days ago):
I watched the news report on this comemoration,they are yesterdays men,it showed by the turn out,they have no support,politicaly,or activley,they are like the i.r.a were in the 50,s,i think the police acted correctly,you dont want to gave this small group of idiots free publicity.
John in lisburn wrote (872 days ago):
Insted of Gregory Campbell moaning about the police didnt do a good job at their job why dont we send Gregory Campbell in, he seems to be the brains of everything. Wonder how long he would last! Its alright for him to be moaning in his cushy office!
Realist in England wrote (873 days ago):
James - it is indeed spelt incorrectly on the wreath. You also spelt it incorrectly, however, which is quite ironic given that you started you started your post with 'they can't even spell..' Éireann is the genitive of the proper noun Éire and should have a capital. More importantly, you left out two fadaí - a far from trivial point as it changes pronunciation and can even alter meaning (consider séan, to deny; sean, old; and Seán, the man's name).
Ady in Tyrone wrote (873 days ago):
Whilst the PSNI may have been reluctant to move in,"James in Tyrone" is straight in on behalf of the Grammar Police. lol
OldSod in Fermanagh wrote (873 days ago):
I think the police handled this correctly. If they charged in trumpets blaring, dogs baying and sabres rattling, there would have been a riot, maybe worse and the dissidents would have had a propaganda field-day. Everybody would have blamed the police for breaching human rights and being heavy handed etc and the DUP would have been silent. The Duh'UP should stick to what they are good at (whatever that is) and leave policing to the police.
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