Eleven convicted of participating in dissident republican parade

One of the most prominent dissident republicans in Londonderry is among 11 men who have been convicted of taking part in an illegal parade.

The men were all fined for participating in an Easter commemoration which descended into violence in 2018.

Rioters pelted police with petrol bombs and stones in the Creggan Estate before an Easter Commemoration parade set off.

Police had not received any notification of the event making it an illegal parade.

It was led to the City Cemetery led by a dissident republican colour party in paramilitary uniform.

Some of the other marches were identified by CCTV.

The footage was taken from a camera mounted on police land rovers.

On Tuesday the eleven accused walked into court along with supporters.

The youngest defendant was 27 and the oldest 63.

One of the accused was Thomas Ashe Mellon from Rathmore Road.

The 43-year-old is one of the most prominent dissident republicans in Derry.

Just last week he watched on as friends of murdered journalist Lyra McKee protested by leaving handprints in red paint at Junior McDaid House in the city.

The building in Chamberlain Street is headquarters of Saoradh, the political party with links to the New IRA.

Mellon was found guilty of taking part in the illegal parade along with his co-accused.

Judge Barney McElhome said police had to attend the parade in case people 'goose-stepped' about in paramilitary garb. He said it was clear that that the parade led to serious disorder and to a paramilitary display which he said was "unacceptable".

He told the defendants they may not like the law but that they must abide by it. But he said that there was no evidence that any of the men had incited the riot or were involved in organising the colour party.

The men were each fined £750 for taking part in an unnotified parade.

A case against a 12th man has been adjourned for two weeks.

It emerged separately on Tuesday that Saoradh have been ordered to leave Junior McDaid House.

It's understood the owner served the party with an eviction notice following Lyra McKee's murder.