Police in Northern Ireland have arrested six people following the announcement made by a masked member of the Real IRA ,at a 1916 Easter Rising commemoration ceremony at Creggan cemetery, in Derry.
The spokesperson for the Real IRA (RIRA) read a statement from “the leadership of Óglaigh na h’Éireann”. He pledged further attacks and violence on the police and soldiers in Northern Ireland.
Although a police helicopter was monitoring the events they chose to maintain their distance from the event.
A senior detective confirmed that six men were arrested. They have been taken to Antrim for questioning, according to Belfast Telegraph reports.
The Easter Rising event, which took place on Monday, was organized by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSm). Republicans gathered to march and lay wreaths in commemoration of the Rising against British rule.
Wearing a balaclava the man said “The IRA will continue to attack Crown force personnel and their installations as well as British interests and infrastructure.”
He said the RIRA would work with other dissident republican groups.
“Republican unity remains a key objective and we will work closely with other organizations.
“Continued divisions within republicanism only serve the interests of our enemies,” he said.
He added that there was only one IRA. “The challenge for republicans remains the removal of the British presence and violation of our sovereignty. The Irish Republican Army will continue to challenge this violation.
“There is only Irish Republican Army and it is present in this cemetery today.”
The IRA are responsible for a series of attacks including the murder of soldiers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene army base in Antrim in 2009.
Also speaking at the event, according to Derry Journal reports, was Derry republican Gary Donnelly.
He said “Republicans stand here today continuing to defy those who demand submission…The 32CSm challenge those who defend these servants of the crown to explain what argument exists that defends the rights of the PSNI to harass children and suppress the republican message.”
He continued “Republicans cannot and will not engage with the institutions of partition and those who do have no right to claim the label of republican. The unavoidable conclusion reached when looking at former comrades at Stormont is that there is simply no constitution path to a United Ireland.”
A spokesperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said senior officers had taken the decision to run "a low-key operational response to the event".
He added “Any alleged breaches of criminal law reported to police or coming to our attention will be rigorously and thoroughly investigated.
"The PSNI work to ensure that all their actions are appropriate, proportionate and lawful. Our priorities are to protect the public, preserve public order, uphold the human rights of all and gather evidence of any wrongdoing."
On Sunday Sinn Fein party chairman Declan Kearney told a group, gathered at the republican plot at Milltown cemetery, Belfast, that the IRA had left violence behind them. He said this was a time to heal the wounds of the past.