The consequences of Monday’s parade organized by Saoradh were predictable – but it seemed to surprise the PSNI once again.
The New IRA’s political wing had previously warned of the potential for “conflict” at the “National Easter Celebration of the Unfinished Revolution”.
This was less of a warning and more of a warning as the New IRA had planned violence. Gasoline bombs were prepared and hidden near the city cemetery.
The cemetery is the final resting place of 90,000 people. Everyone in Derry knows someone buried in this graveyard, a sacred place sacred to most. However, for few it was a perfect starting point to launch an attack on the PSNI.
The parade commission had imposed a number of conditions on the event, including a ban on the display of symbols or banners relating to banned organizations. This comes after input from Lyra McKee’s relatives who objected to the parade being held on the third anniversary of her assassination.
The organizers had no intention of complying with the restrictions. It shows the toothless nature of the parade body, which has no power to ban controversial marches. With the majority of disputed saves now in single digits, there are questions about the effectiveness of the commission set up to deal with the aftermath of the Drumcree dispute.
For the organizers, the lure of a paramilitary show of force was the only way to attract onlookers and give the impression that they have more support than they have.
They would not miss an opportunity to cause chaos on what they claim is a memorial day. The men and women of the 1916 rising that people in Derry claimed to commemorate did not wear balaclavas and march through the streets like a parody of Dad’s Army.
The New IRA is a shambles of an organization led by middle-aged men who base their entire personality on the status that comes with being an angry fish in a small pond.
The Derry March required them to embark members from Dublin, a rent-a-mob involved in high-level crime – and driving some of their ill-gotten gains onto the streets to fund a fake war that continues to this day killed more members of their own community than any other segment of society.
They use willing channels and poorly regulated social media to spew out propaganda that no one – including their own leadership – believes.
There is a clear political path for those seeking a united Ireland, the constitutional amendment mechanisms enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement.
If someone from the Saoradh leadership wants to explain how knee-covering teenagers in the Creggan, or sending young men to drop petrol bombs on armored Land Rovers will probably advance an inch, then they should come forward and explain themselves.
The parade also raises questions at both the local and senior levels of how such parades are monitored. While the Parades Commission has no authority to stop these demonstrations, the police do.
They could have petitioned the Supreme Court to ban the parade, which has proved impossible for the police to do with any real effectiveness.
They could also have prevented the masked element from assembling, stopped it at the source and allowed the rest of the march to continue in accordance with restrictions.
The problem with the police is that any intervention would always lead to conflict. The organizers are counting on this in propaganda terms and were prepared for it.
The placement of a petrol bomb in a cemetery ahead of what was billed as a memorial service dishonors all those buried at the site. The footage from the city cemetery was depressing, a throwback to a bygone era.
Youths in tracksuits, easily identifiable by a number of distinctive Nike and Adidas brands despite covering their faces, threw petrol bombs while grown men goaded them.
I despair of the mentality of the person heard giving orders to teenagers throwing petrol bombs, with one narrowly missing setting himself on fire.
Doom them to life in prison and possibly death so they can never reach their full potential – instead being exploited as cannon fodder by those who failed to come up with a single valid argument for their organization’s existence.
It is no coincidence that dissident republicanism only gains a foothold in deprived areas. A young person with future prospects is much more difficult to recruit than one who sees little future.
The Irish Proclamation declares a determination to “seek the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all its parts, and cherish equally all the children of the nation”.
Sending a child to do his dirty work is as far from appreciating him as humanly possible. Monday was a sad day for Derry, a place that has so much to celebrate.
While there are those who are proud of this beautiful city, those who organized Monday’s march want to condemn it for being forever trapped in the past rather than helping to shape the future.
https://www.independent.ie/news/new-ira-a-shambles-of-an-organisation-that-is-hell-bent-on-dragging-us-back-to-the-horrors-of-the-past-41569439.html New IRA: A wreckage of an organization bent on drawing us back to the horrors of the past