Derry court: Men fined over illegal republican parade

image captionThe parade made its way to Derry City Cemetery

Eleven men have been convicted of taking part in an illegal republican parade in Londonderry on Easter Monday 2018.

The men were charged with taking part in the parade in the city's Creggan area on 2 April 2018.

All of them denied the charge but were found guilty at Londonderry Magistrates' Court and fined £750 each.

The judge described the events surrounding the parade as "unacceptable."

The case against a twelfth man has been adjourned for two weeks.

image captionThomas Ashe Mellon was one of 11 men convicted at Londonderry Magistrates Court

The men who were convicted were:

  • Joseph Barr, 30, of Sackville Street;
  • Andrew Carlin, 32, of Woodvale Mews, Eglinton;
  • Gearoid Cavanagh, 30, of Northland Road;
  • Jason Ceulemans, no age given, Long Tower Court;
  • Gary Hayden, 46, of Tyrconnell Street;
  • William McDonnell, 32, of Harvey Street;
  • Paul McIntyre, 51, of Ballymagowan Park;
  • Patrick Mellon, 27, of John Field Place;
  • Thomas Ashe Mellon, 43, of Rathmore Road;
  • John Nash, 65, of Fergleen Park;
  • Christopher O'Kane, 45, of Iniscairn Road.

The court was told the PSNI could connect the 11 men to the charge through CCTV footage.

Several police officers gave evidence of public disorder prior to the parade, during which petrol bombs were thrown at police vehicles by groups of masked youths.

A PSNI inspector told the court that, prior to the parade, he and other officers went to Junior McDaid House in Chamberlain Street where he planned to explain to the organisers that, as the parade was un-notified, those taking part were liable to prosecution.

He said the doors and shutters on the house were closed and he put a warning letter in the letter box of the house.

Petrol bombs

The court heard that a pre-recorded message warning the parade was illegal was played from police Land Rovers in Creggan and the vehicles also displayed signs reiterating the parade was un-notified.

The officer said at the scene of the parade masked youths threw petrol bombs, planks of wood and masonry at police lines.

District Judge Barney McElholm said: "It is clear this event lead to serious public disorder and a display of paramilitary activity of a quite unacceptable nature. However no one has been charged with that.

"They are charged with taking part in an un-notified procession. Maybe they do not agree with the law but it applies to everybody across the board."

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