Londonderry politicians have spoken out about violence in the aftermath of an unauthorised dissident republican parade in Creggan on Easter Monday. Police declared the march illegal and said that around a dozen men marched in paramilitary-style uniforms. Belfast Live journalist Niall Deeney was targeted with a petrol bomb that exploded at his feet, but he escaped injury. A van was set alight, while young people were seen preparing and throwing petrol bombs. Police said that “a small minority” remained “intent on causing violence and disorder” and exploiting local young people in the process.

Sinn Féin MLA Ciara Ferguson stated that journalists should be protected from “threats and intimidation,” while DUP MLA Gary Middleton spoke out against the exploitation of young people by unknown figures. Justice Minister Naomi Long stated that the incident was an example of “grooming and exploitation” that had no place in society. The PSNI stated that it was investigating the parade as a breach of the Public Processions Act and offences under the Terrorism Act.

Séamus Dooley from the National Union of Journalists said that those who committed the violence did not speak for Creggan. Catholic priest Fr Michael Canny commended the police for their “low profile” tactics, saying their strategy was “very praiseworthy and commendable.” The parade marked the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising and was organised by the Derry 1916 Committee, which is supported by the Saoradh organisation

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