Six arrested after threats at Real IRA Londonderry rally

 

Police in Northern Ireland have arrested six people after a masked man at a republican commemoration threatened further violence by dissidents opposed to the peace process.

The event to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland was addressed by a hooded spokesman for the Real IRA who pledged further attacks on police and soldiers.

Police said they chose to maintain a distance from the event in the Creggan cemetery in Londonderry, but a security force helicopter monitored the scene.

A senior detective has confirmed six men were arrested and taken to Antrim for questioning.

The Easter Monday event was organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and republicans gathered for a march and a wreath-laying ceremony.

The man clad in a balaclava and black combat gear who read a statement on behalf of the Real IRA said its campaign of violence would continue.

"The IRA will continue to attack Crown Force personnel, their installations, as well as British interests and infrastructure," he said.

The group is responsible for a series of attacks including the murder of soldiers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene army base in Antrim in 2009 only hours before the men were to fly out to begin a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said senior officers had taken the decision to run "a low-key operational response to the event".

They added: "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."

The incident came a day after an Easter commemoration by mainstream republicans heard a call from Sinn Fein for a process of reconciliation.

Party chairman Declan Kearney told the rally at the republican plot in Milltown cemetery in west Belfast that violence was over, the IRA had left the stage and it was time to heal the wounds of the past.

In a message to dissident groups wedded to violence he said: "Make no mistake, there is no other IRA, here in Belfast, or anywhere else."

He added: "Some republicans oppose the peace process by militarist and political means. There is a political imperative upon us to attempt purposeful engagement with all republicans, and that includes those who oppose Sinn Fein."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Sport
Sam Allardyce
sport
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?