The flute band named after Real IRA leader Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in Dublin last September, led an Easter republican commemoration in Derry on Monday.

According to The Sun, the Alan Ryan Memorial Flute Band led the procession to the City Cemetery after a series of disturbances that saw several Police Service of Northern Ireland Land Rovers pelted by youths throwing bottles, stones and a petrol bomb before the start of commemoration.

Despite the confrontations, the event, organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, passed off without major incident and there were no reports of any injuries. Around 200 people reportedly attended the parade and unlike in previous years, there was no statement read out by masked paramilitaries.

One of the speakers at the commemoration was Ryan's brother Dermot, who spoke on behalf of dissident republican prisoners inside Maghaberry prison in County Antrim.

Another speaker, Francie Mackey, reportedly accused Sinn Fein of being a 'unionist party' for supporting the Provisional IRA ceasefire.

After the parade, a PSNI spokeswoman said: 'Police will be making further inquiries following an illegal parade which took place as part of a small-scale event in the city cemetery this afternoon.'

'Officers issued two verbal warnings to those taking part in the illegal procession. While the event passed off without incident it was extremely concerning to see children, some of whom looked to be under the age of ten, throwing stones at police vehicles.

'It is a sad indictment on those who organised and were in attendance that this was allowed to happen.'

Meanwhile, the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott told the press that dissident republican groups are trying to outdo each other in the number of attacks they carry out. 'The recklessness of their attacks is beyond measure,' he said referring to the explosion in Lurgan, County Armagh on Saturday.

It is believed the explosion was an attempt to kill police officers. 'All of these five attacks in the last month could have killed innocent members of the public. There is a competitiveness between these groups at the moment which is completely irrational but could end up in a very real tragedy indeed.'

Meanwhile eight Dublin men appeared before a special sitting of the Irish Special Criminal Court charged with membership of the IRA on Easter Sunday.

According to the Irish Times, the men were arrested on Friday after a search of a commercial premises in Clondalkin, County Dublin as part of an ongoing Irish Police investigation into the activities of dissident republicans.

Kevin Braney, 38, Des Christie, 49, Eamon McNamee, 32, John Brock, 40, Darren Murphy, 42, Declan Phelan, 31, William Jackson, 53, and Hubert Duffy, 45, were all charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA, on March 29 last.

The court reportedly heard that none of the eight men made any reply when the charges were put to them. None of the men applied for bail, however, lawyers representing all parties indicated that applications for bail and legal aid would be addressed at the next hearing of the case.

Mr Justice Butler, sitting with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Judge William Hamill, remanded the eight in custody with liberty to apply for bail to appear in front of the non-jury court on Friday, April 5th.