Claims police would intervene in parade were untrue and stoked tensions: senior police officer

PSNI attacked.
PSNI attacked.

A senior Derry police officer has said claims an Easter commemoration would be stopped by the PSNI were untrue and had stoken tensions in the run up to the event this afternoon.

Chief Inspector Ivor Morton was speaking after officers came under petrol bomb attack, not far from where the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee parade, supported by Saoradh, took place this afternoon.

He said that, contrary to the committee's statement, submitted to Junior McDaid House in Chamberlain Street at the weekend, that police would intervene, there was no such intention on the part of the police.

“In relation to today’s event in Derry/Londonderry we attempted to engage with the organisers of the parade over a period of time in a bid to facilitate their event within the law," he said.

"The organisers declined to enter into any discussions with police on this matter.

"The organisers also stated in the run-up to today’s event they were informed by police the parade would be stopped and would not be allowed to go ahead.

"This was patently untrue and can only be viewed as an attempt by those behind the parade as a bid to raise tensions in the area.

"It is, therefore, regrettable that in raising those tensions a small number of people saw fit to attack police officers with petrol bombs in what was clearly a pre-meditated attack," he added.