Self-styled “revolutionary party” Saoradh, which paraded in paramilitary style through Dublin on Saturday, said “if republicans were involved” in the killing of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry on Thursday night, “then the IRA should apologise”.
Ms McKee (29) was shot dead during riots on the Creggan estate in Derry. The PSNI have said they believe those responsible for her death are connected to the “New IRA”. Two men have been arrested in connection with with the shooting .
Up to 200 members and supporters of Saoradh who joined an Easter 1916 commemoration in Dublin on Saturday, heard national executive member Dee Fennell say the McKee family was “suffering an intolerable loss”.
Mr Fennell said his own family had suffered due to the killing of a family member in the past and he reiterated that if republicans had shot Ms McKee “then the IRA should publicly accept responsibility and apologise”.
Ms McKee had been “tragically killed” he said and such killings had never been the policy of republicans. He recalled that when he lived in the Ardoyne, the IRA had apologised for the killing of two women in the 1970s and 1990s “publicly or privately”.
Earlier, as marchers gathered at the Garden of Remembrance at Parnell Square, the Wolfe Tone Republican Flute Band engaged in practice banging of drums which could be heard a kilometre away on D’Olier Street. A large number of uniformed gardaí were present, and plain-clothed detectives passed thorough the crowd.
Tricolours and the slogan “unfinished revolution” were hung from lampposts and shortly before the 3pm start of the march, a group in military uniforms wearing berets and sunglasses appeared. The paramilitaries were followed by a group in 1916-style clothing, seemingly re-enacting the Good Friday 1916 rebellion.
As the march got underway one man walked to the centre of the road hands on his head, blocking the march, but stewards instructed the marchers to “go around him”.
A number of flute players passing down the street jostled the man who stood his ground. After a while a march organiser stood in front of the man, directing marchers away.
A statement issued by Saoradh on Friday claimed 29-year-old McKee was “accidentally killed”.
Gardaí said the march dispersed with no incidents.