The Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee-organized Easter parade saw masked men attack a police Land Rover and throw petrol bombs.

Politicians across Ireland have condemned the violent scenes that broke out in Creggan, in the city of Derry, on Monday during the Easter parade. The violence took place on the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and a day before President Joe Biden visits Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the peace process. 

The Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee organized parade started at the Central Drive area. A number of masked men in paramilitary-style dress formed a color party, carrying the Irish flag and republican flags.

As the parade worked its way toward its conclusion at the City Cemetery a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Land Rover, which was monitoring the parade, was attacked. According to BreakingNews, youths threw petrol bombs and fireworks at the vehicle before it drove away in flames. 

The Easter parade culminated at the cemetery where speeches were made. One of the organizers described the event as "respectful and dignified, paying homage to the revolutionary heroes of 1916 and all the republican dead”.

The Creggan area of Derry where masked youths attacked police with petrol bombs during the Easter Commemoration parade.

Officers pulled out of the area & maintained an aerial presence as a speech was made urging those present to join the IRA @beltel

— Kevin Scott (@Kscott_94) April 10, 2023

A PSNI spokesperson told the public “Our officers have come under attack in Creggan, with petrol bombs and other objects thrown at their vehicle while in attendance at an unnotified Easter parade.

“No injuries have been reported at this time.

“We would appeal for calm.”

Sinn Féin's Vice President Michelle O’Neill called the attack “deplorable”.

“Twenty-five years on from the Good Friday Agreement this needless street disorder in Derry has no place in our society," O'Neill said.

She added "This type of illegal and anti-community activity is deplorable and out of step from wider community and public opinion.

“Our focus is on the future and on the future of our young.

“This society is moving forward and peace and stability will prevail.”

Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris told the BBC “The saddest part of this spectacle is that young people with no memory or experience of the violence of our past are being manipulated and abused by people with no vision for the future.

“Those whipping our kids into a frenzy and sending them out to attack the police have nothing to offer the people of Derry and this city will continue to reject them.”

Ulster Unionist Leader Doug Beattie said “Absolute wasters. Sent out to riot by men sitting in pubs acting the big lads.”

Alliance Party Member of the Legislative Assembly, Kellie Armstrong, tweeted:

Disgraceful. The actions of some who want to drag NI back to dark days is abhorrent.
One side throws petrol bombs, trades in drugs, prostitution and criminality and the other side does exactly the same. Criminals. Anyone with info pass to PSNI on 101 or #Crimestoppers 0800555111

— Kellie Armstrong (@Kelmba) April 10, 2023

Democratic Unionist Party Member of the Legislative Assembly, Gary Middleton, tweeted:

Another clearly coordinated attack on the PSNI. The parade was illegal from the outset. This reckless behaviour is an attempt to cause harm not only to PSNI officers but to our communities as well. There must be swift action to bring those responsible to justice.

— Gary Middleton MLA (@Gary_Middleton) April 10, 2023

Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney tweeted: 

Full support for the PSNI in the face of violent attacks. So called dissident republicans have nothing to offer our society, north or south.
A tiny minority of thugs seeking headlines, wanting to take Northern Ireland backwards.

— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) April 10, 2023

Joe Biden's security during NI visit

The President of the United States Joe Biden is set to land in Belfast, County Antrim on Tuesday evening (Apr 11) to emphasize his country's "commitment to preserving peace" in Northern Ireland. A huge security operation is in place in Belfast. 

Two weeks before his visit the United Kingdom's counterintelligence agency, MI5, heightened the terrorism threat in Northern Ireland. 

Despite this, a spokesman for Biden said the President was "more than comfortable making this trip".

On Tuesday he will be greeted by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Already hundreds of extra police officers have been drafted into Belfast. Biden is expected to stay at the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast's city center.

The police have warned the public of traffic disruption in Belfast city center on Tuesday and Wednesday. Roads have already been closed to facilitate the visit including roads around Ulster University, where the president is to give a speech on Wednesday.

Police have also said travelers to and from Belfast International Airport can expect disruption. A spokesperson said "There will be traffic disruption in the vicinity of Belfast International Airport in the lead-up to the visit of President Biden in Northern Ireland this week.

"Those traveling to the airport should expect delays and allow extra time for your journey.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Biden will then travel south, to Ireland, to continue his visit. He plans to visit his ancestral home of County Louth and County Mayo as well as meeting with Irish leaders, President Michael D. Higgins and Leo Varadkar. He will also speak in Ireland's parliament and attend a state dinner in Dublin Castle before his departure on Friday.