PSNI monitor parades in North ahead of Easter Monday

Republican groups marched in west Belfast and other areas of Northern Ireland on Saturday

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) maintained a low-key presence at a number of parades organised by republican groups opposed to the peace process.

Groups marched in west Belfast and other areas in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Although events take place across the Easter period, Easter Monday is when republicans traditionally celebrate the anniversary of the 1916 Rising rebellion against British occupation.

On Saturday afternoon, men wearing black berets carried flags in a demonstration involving dozens of people on the Falls Road.


The march then moved to a republican plot at Milltown Cemetery, where a speech was given that referenced Palestine, accused Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael of revisionism, and criticised “two failed statelets who continue to uphold British rule in Ireland”.

Smaller demonstrations were held in places such as Newry and Lurgan, passing without incident as police monitored them quietly.

A dozen people attended the Edward Costello Memorial Garden in Lurgan before heading to a republican plot at St Colman’s Cemetery.

It comes after the PSNI warned that it had received “strong” intelligence that dissidents were planning to launch terror attacks against officers in Derry on Easter Monday.

Officers expressed concern that public disorder may be used as a platform to launch attacks.

It comes as the police force gears up for a major security operation around the visit of US president Joe Biden to coincide with the Belfast Agreement’s 25th anniversary.

On Sunday a formal commemoration of the 1916 Rising will be held at the GPO building in Dublin, which will be led by President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Sinn Féin is also due to hold its annual commemoration at Milltown Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. – PA