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