CIRA in show of strength

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Footage has emerged of a masked Continuity IRA member firing a gun salute at an Easter commemoration in County Tyrone.

Three shots were fired by the man, who was wearing military-style clothing, at a graveyard in Carrickmore on Easter Saturday. The volley of shots were fired over the grave of IRA Volunteer Frank Ward, who was killed after a gun battle with B-Specials in April 1922.

Carrickmore, in County Tyrone hosts several Easter commemorations every year. Previous commemorations have seen colour parties of republicans in uniform, which are normally judged illegal by the British state.

The latest salute took place in the same week that a number of republicans were convicted for participating in a similar event.

A parade, organised by the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee, took place in Creggan on Easter Monday 2018. It was held without permission being sought from the Parades Commission, which was set up to adjudicate on contentious parades in the north of Ireland, and therefore deemed illegal by the PSNI.

A number of those present were singled out and arrested. Following their release, they were imposed with harsh and restrictive bail conditions until last week’s sentencing.

Saoradh said those convicted and fined had not being involved with the colour party or the clashes which took place during the arrest operation. Among those to receive a conviction were leading Derry-based member Thomas Ashe Mellon.

Saoradh said the arrests and trial had been “a clear example of British directed attempts at diminishing Irish Republicanism. Being a Republican is not a crime. Remembering Ireland’s patriot dead is not a crime. Irish Republicans will not be criminalised.”

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