PSNI fails in bid for Derry parade footage

Masked members of the Real IRA (RIRA) pictured at the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) Easter parade and commemoration at Derry's City Cemetery in April.
Masked members of the Real IRA (RIRA) pictured at the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) Easter parade and commemoration at Derry's City Cemetery in April.
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The PSNI has failed in a court action to force the BBC to hand over film footage shot at a republican parade in Derry in April of last year.

The police had claimed it could be used to identify masked men by the way they walked or by facial features under balaclavas.

The case arose after 10 men dressed in paramilitary uniform paraded in the City Cemetery. The incident took place during a 32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter commemoration.

One of the masked men then delivered a speech on behalf of the Real IRA threatening anyone who gave support to the PSNI, including members of the GAA and Catholic hierarchy. The group also threatened Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her visit to the Republic.

Detectives have been attempting to prosecute those involved and had sought “un-broadcast” video shot by the media. The BBC challenged this, saying it would endanger its staff.

It also argued that the PSNI was fully aware of the likely nature of the parade and had failed to prevent it or film it themselves.

Judge Burgess ruled that he had been given insufficient evidence to prove the video could assist experts in identifying the men and that the police had failed to show that the video would be of substantial value in its investigation.