Dissidents try to hijack 1916 commemorations
Published 24/04/2016 | 02:30
Dissident republicans who paraded through Dublin's O'Connell Street, to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, are a "disgrace to the country", a Fianna Fail councillor has said.
Wearing berets - some with scarves pulled over their faces - the 300 marchers some in combat fatigue followed a lone piper in the city yesterday. The rally, organised by Republican Sinn Fein, left the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm.
Members of the parade dressed in military dress, wearing sunglasses, and a number with faces covered, made their way to the Abbey Street junction.
The parade then made a U-turn right outside the GPO on O'Connell Street.
Their parade attracted a large crowd of spectators and the attention of some confused tourists. A significant number of gardai were also present at the event, but it passed off peacefully. A significant gardai presence was at the event as traffic was diverted from the capital's main thoroughfare.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Fianna Fail councillor Daithi de Roiste said: "It's an absolute disgrace to have paramilitaries and terrorists walking around the streets with balaclavas and scarves over their heads.
"If people are going to do something, they should do it in the open, and up front and honest about it.
"Where were these people a couple of weeks ago when hundreds of thousands of people were on the streets for the 1916 State celebration".
Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people are expected in the capital for the Reclaim The Vision of 1916 event today, which marks the actual 100th anniversary to the day of the Easter Rising.
A parade will set off from Merrion Square at 2pm for a gathering at the GPO at 3pm.
Sinn Fein are also organising a wreath-laying ceremony at the GPO at 10pm.