Police vow to take action over illegal dissident republican parade

Police have promised a "robust" investigation into an illegal dissident republican parade in Lurgan.

A small number of men wearing military garb and sunglasses with scarves partially covering their faces walked through the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan on Saturday.

As in previous years, the event to commemorate the Easter Rising had not secured the required permission from the Parades Commission.

PSNI Chief Inspector Bernard O'Connor said: "Organisers of parades are required to give formal notification of their intentions. Warnings were given to participants and an evidence-gathering operation was in place.

"Police take the issue of illegal parades and protests very seriously and in each incident, seek to protect the public, preserve public order and gather evidence with a view to prosecuting anyone who breaks the law.

"A robust investigation is now under way.

"As with all inquiries, the investigation will be conducted thoroughly and all appropriate evidence considered in an effort to bring law breakers before the courts."

Ulster Unionist Assembly member Doug Beattie said the participants were flouting the law.

"This dissident republican 'parade' takes place year after year, men and women dressed in paramilitary garb, with no permission from anyone," he said.

"They are sticking two fingers up at the law abiding majority in Lurgan and wider society.

"Whilst I appreciate the PSNI may not want to give these people the oxygen of publicity by taking direct action on the day, it is important that decisive action is seen to be taken in the hours and days ahead.

"We need to see people being brought before the courts, held accountable and sentenced."

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