Police say Derry attacks on journalists after dissident Easter parade 'extremely disappointing'

A van was also burned out in Londonderry. Credit: Press Eye

Police have described attacks on journalists in Londonderry following a dissident Easter parade as "extremely disappointing".

Petrol bombs were thrown at members of the press after the march passed through the Creggan area of the city on Monday.

A van was also set on fire during scenes of disorder which have been widely condemned by Stormont politicians.

In a statement on Tuesday, Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton said the PSNI is supporting those affected, and said investigations were underway.

“What we saw unfold in Creggan on Easter Monday, in particular the attacks on journalists, was extremely disappointing and completely unnecessary," said ACC Singleton.

"We are supporting those affected and have commenced an investigation with a view to bringing those responsible to justice."

Police said they saw evidence of petrol bombs being prepared by young people prior to the parade to mark the anniversary of the Easter Rising.

While the main march passed off without major incident, petrol bombs were later thrown at members of the media and a van was set on fire.

The event, organised by the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee, started in the Central Drive area before making its way to the City Cemetery.

A senior police officer said they had been notified about an event in the City Cemetery, but not of the parade from Central Drive.

A police helicopter was in the skies throughout proceedings, and a drone warned people it was an unnotified parade.

Police on the ground were attacked at the same event last year, with petrol bombs and other missiles.

Groups marched in west Belfast and other areas in Northern Ireland across the Easter weekend as part of an annual public marking of the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising against then-British rule across the island of Ireland.

Most parades were lawful and passed without incident.

Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton said: “This has been a really busy Easter for the Police Service with close to 80 parades taking place across the country.

"As well as families celebrating Easter, we’ve also had tens of thousands of people commemorating events over the weekend from all traditions – the vast majority peacefully, respectfully and lawfully.

“What we saw yesterday was an unrepresentative, small minority who remain intent on causing violence and disorder and who will exploit local young people in the process.

“Moving forward, we’ll continue to focus on delivering policing with the community in Creggan.

“We welcome the broad condemnation of these events, and we are grateful for the wide support we’ve had from across the community since yesterday."

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