Easter Monday parade: Derry man appears in court charged with inviting support for IRA

A man has appeared before Derry Magistrate's Court charged with encouraging support for the IRA in connection with a parade on Easter Monday.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Patrick Gallagher (31) of Raftery Close was charged with three counts of inviting support for the IRA, arranging a meeting in support of that organisation and aiding and abetting support on April 10 this year.

The court heard that a dissident republican parade took place in Creggan on Easter Monday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Up to 30 petrol bombs were thrown at police before the parade, and four pipe bombs found in the cemetery the day after, it was said at Thursday’s hearing.

Derry Court House.  DER2126GS - 075Derry Court House.  DER2126GS - 075
Derry Court House. DER2126GS - 075

A police officer claimed that Gallagher could be seen walking beside the parade, which was led by a colour party dressed in paramilitary-style uniforms.

Police believed events, including a roll of honour, were organised by Gallagher, who it was alleged invited a wreath to be laid on behalf 'of the Derry Brigade of the IRA.'

The officer said steps were taken to shield the colour party using umbrellas and the uniforms were burned.

Text messages were also found allegedly linking Gallagher to another man charged in connection with the same march, the court was told.

The court heard that this man was alleged to have said in a speech 'it is not enough to shout up the IRA, join the IRA', and Gallagher was said to have applauded this.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When interviewed, Gallagher denied any support for a proscribed organisation and said his role was to try and get the colour party dispersed peacefully.

Defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said these commemorations have been occurring since the 1970s.

A prosecution barrister claimed that Gallagher was 'significantly involved in this matter'.

District Judge Barney McElholm said 'this is 2023 and it is about time this crowd and the other crowd put all this behind us.'

The judge said that this country is 'blighted' by sectarian bigotry on both sides.

Gallagher was released on bail to reappear on July 6, on condition he doesn’t enter Creggan, attend any march/ protest or have any contact with his co-accused.

Related topics: