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Fire bomb attackers are 'bankrupt thugs', says Fed


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Northern Irish officers escaped serious injury on Easter Monday despite being pelted with bricks and fire bombs.

Youths attack Police vehicles as they try to prevent Members of Derry 1916 Easter Commemoration committee take part in an unregistered parade in the the Creggan area. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Youths attack Police vehicles as they try to prevent Members of Derry 1916 Easter Commemoration committee take part in an unregistered parade in the the Creggan area. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire


Petrol bomb attacks on PSNI officers on Monday were attempts to kill or seriously maim police, the federation says.

The bombs were hurled at police during a republican parade in Londonderry on Monday.

Flames ignited around heavily armoured vehicles bearing officers patrolling the illegal demonstration by dissident republicans.

Eyewitnesses put the total of fire bombs at dozens but senior officers counted seven. There were no reports of injuries or arrests made.

Heavy masonry was used to smash the windows of Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) vehicles in the nationalist Creggan estate, an eyewitness said.

Sporadic trouble continued for around two hours on Monday.

Republicans mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising every year.

Chief Inspector Ivor Morton said organisers’ claims PSNI told them the parade would be stopped are “patently untrue” and in fact the group had refused to enter into discussions with police.

Police Federation for Northern Ireland chairman Mark Lindsay condemned the violence as “appalling and disgraceful.”

“Let me make something clear: anyone who throws petrol bombs at police vehicles or individual officers is out to cause maximum physical harm.

“They want to maim or kill officers. That’s the stark reality of their actions,” he said.

“They only know how to wreck and undermine. They are bankrupt thugs with nothing but misery to offer a community. They cling desperately to a past, unwilling to recognise the gains that have been made and unwilling to imagine a better future for the entire community.”

He added the unrest was orchestrated by sinister “puppet-masters” who manipulated and brainwashed young people into believing violence is the only way forward.

“I know our officers will deal with this violence with professionalism. Some dissidents set out to cause mayhem during an illegal parade. They will not succeed.

“Officers will not be bullied or deflected in the job they have to do. The rioters who wanted to burn officers alive in their vehicles have to be made amenable for their cowardly actions” .

Chief Insp Morton said: “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. 

“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. 

“I want to be clear that for anyone who engaged in actions that were unlawful or detrimental to community safety, there will be consequences through the criminal justice system.”

He said police will be reviewing video footage to identify those involved.

Foyle Democratic Unionist Assembly member Gary Middleton said the scenes were disgraceful.

"People in paramilitary-style uniform is wrong and the continued glorification of terrorism is abhorrent.

"Nobody has a desire to see the violence on display today, except for barbaric thugs intent on endangering life and property.

"The PSNI were there to protect the community - people who live in fear at displays and parades such as this one today.

"The police have to be praised for the work they continue to do this weekend, as they uphold the law and thoroughly deal with illegal parades and displays of such a disturbing nature."

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