Violence at Derry City Cemetery ; Petrol bombs thrown after 6 arrested

Police in Derry have confirmed they have made a number of arrests following a notified parade in the city earlier today (Monday 18th April).

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th April 2022, 10:02 pm

Five men, aged, 29, 38, 40, 50 and 54 years old, were arrested under the Terrorism Act.

A sixth man, aged 40 years old, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour.

All six men remain in custody this evening.

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Derry Citry Cemetery and PSNI Chief Supt. Ryan Henderson. (file pictures)

Police said they have seized ‘a number of vehicles, suspected terrorist uniforms and petrol bombs’.

Derry & Strabane District Commander, Chief Superintendent Ryan Henderson said: “Earlier today, police were in attendance at a notified parade in the city.

“On the basis of initial observations, participants in the parade were assessed as having potentially committed criminal offences.

“Police monitored the event closely and, at what was considered to be an appropriate point, took action to secure evidence and make arrests.”

Chf. Supt. Henderson said that whilst doing so, police officers came under attack from petrol bombs and masonry.

“Our officers showed tremendous courage and professionalism in what was still clearly a dangerous situation.

“Fortunately, none of our officers, or members of the public were injured as a result of this reckless and criminal behaviour. Our enquiries will continue over the coming days and weeks to bring offenders to justice.”

SDLP Leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood has said that those who orchestrated attacks on the police from the City Cemetery this afternoon will find no support among the people of Derry.

Mr Eastwood said that young people were being manipulated in what he said was clearly a premeditated and organised attempt to create a violent standoff following an Easter parade.

Coming on the third anniversary of Lyra McKee’s murder, the SDLP Leader said that those responsible have nothing to offer and will not be allowed to drag Derry backward.

Colum Eastwood MP said: “Today is the third anniversary of the murder of Lyra McKee on the streets of our city. A young journalist who was trying to make a life for herself in Derry and who had so much to give to our community. Lyra’s memory continues to galvanise our resolve against the men of violence who prey on bigotry and hate. Derry stands with Lyra’s family, with Sara and with everyone who knew her today.

“The scenes from the city cemetery this afternoon are absolutely and totally wrong. Young people in our city are being manipulated into carrying out violent attacks against police officers by people who are intent on dragging this city and its people backwards. We wont let them win.

“Those responsible for orchestrating a very clearly pre-arranged attack on police wanted to create a violent standoff this afternoon. They want to whip up division, fear and resentment because it’s the only way they can gain a foothold in our community. They need to understand that those days are long gone and they aren’t coming back. The people of Derry want to live in peace with their neighbours. We wont have that peace threatened by anyone, let alone cowards that send kids out to throw petrol bombs.”

Commenting on the incidents and reports shots were also fired recently in Derry, UUP Assembly candidate Ryan McCready said in a social media post: “The scenes that took place today are absolutely disgraceful, regressive and are to be condemned.

“The fact that adults and children applaud someone wearing a mask and discharging a firearm indiscriminately, is a real concern of what is deemed normal.

“For these events to take place shortly after a Vigil for Lyra McKee, on the third anniversary of her killing by a masked gunman is grossly insensitive and distasteful.

“This needs to stop and I would advocate anyone who has information to inform the PSNI or crime stoppers immediately.”

He added: “Petrol bombs and guns being fired on our streets for any reason is simply wrong.”