‘Why didn’t police arrest him?’ - MP

A masked man reads a Real IRA statement during yesterday's 32 CSM commemoration at the City Cemetery. 1004JM71
A masked man reads a Real IRA statement during yesterday's 32 CSM commemoration at the City Cemetery. 1004JM71
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DUP MP Gregory Campbell wants the PSNI to explain why it did not attempt to arrest a member of the Real IRA in Derry’s City Cemetery this week.

The masked man read out a statement in which the organisation said it would continue to attempt to kill police officers.

The statement was made at a 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32 CSM) Easter commemoration.

Mr Campbell said that a similar message was delivered at the same location last year and since then attempts had been made to kill police officers and soldiers.

While police monitored the events at the cemetery from a helicopter and later arrested six men, who were subsequently released without charge, Gregory Campbell said the PSNI had 12 months to prepare for the same situation arising again.

“Given that this happened 12 months ago, most people would expect police to be aware and expect something similar,” he said.

In response, Derry’s police chief Garry Eaton said: “Any breaches of criminal law reported to the police or coming to our attention will be rigorously and thoroughly investigated. The PSNI work to ensure that all their actions are appropriate, proportionate and lawful. Our priorities are to protect the public, preserve public order, uphold the human rights of all and gather evidence of any wrongdoing.”

The masked man who delivered the Real IRA statement said the organisation planned to work with other dissident organisations.

Calling for republican unity, he said: “Continued divisions within republicanism only serve the interests of our enemies. There is only one Irish Republican Army and it is present in this cemetery today.”