Six men in court after dissident republican parade

Six men have appeared in court following a dissident republican parade in Northern Ireland.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 2nd April 2018, 3:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 10:55 am
The republican parade took place in Lurgan on Saturday
The republican parade took place in Lurgan on Saturday

They were members of a "colour party" during an event in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on Saturday, a police officer said, and were wearing berets and other paramilitary-style clothing.

They were accused of taking part in an unnotified public procession and having clothing or articles as a member or a supporter of an outlawed organisation.

The six were: Eamon Green, 30, from the Falls Road in Belfast; Christopher Hamill, 28, from Lurgan Tarry in Lurgan, Martin Conlon, 48, from Tarry Drive in Lurgan; Emmet Donnan, 30, from Colin Mill in Dunmurry in Belfast; Matthew O'Donnell, 39, from Lislane Drive in Londonderry; Gary Doherty, 36, from Old Mountfield Road in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

There was a heavy security presence inside and outside Lisburn Magistrates' Court as the six appeared in the dock in handcuffs and surrounded by Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers.

They did not acknowledge the court proceedings when asked to identify themselves.

They were casually dressed in sweaters and t-shirts. One wore a green t-shirt bearing the slogan Eire.

Supporters applauded and cheered them from the public gallery.

District judge Amanda Henderson released them on bail.

An officer told the court: "All six defendants were arrested at a dissident parade that took place at Levin Road, Lurgan."

He said they were all members of the "colour party" associated with the parade and were arrested while speeches were ongoing. He added warnings were given that the parade was illegal and unlawful.

"All six were arrested by police wearing berets, scarves, sun glasses, belts."

He said flags used included the Starry Plough and the Irish national flag.

Similar parades were held in Milltown in west Belfast and Dublin, part of what the officer remarked was an organised group of illegal parades.

The Northern Ireland demonstrations were not notified to the Parades Commission which adjudicates and sets conditions.

The officer said verbal warnings were given and the demonstrators were given time to disperse but continued marching in formation.

While questioned in custody none made any comment.

They are all on benefits.

Police opposed their release on bail for fear further unnotified parades would be organised.

They were freed on their own bail of £500, to reside at addresses suitable to police and not to be within 200 metres of an unnotified parade or procession and not to contact any other accused.

They were ordered to meet an overnight curfew and will appear again in court on April 27.