PSNI probes shots at republican rally (UTV)

Police are investigating reports that shots were fired at a republican parade in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast at the weekend.

YouTube footage uploaded on Sunday shows a gunman in camouflage clothing shooting around eight times into the air.

It is believed the footage was recorded at a republican commemoration event on Easter Saturday.

A wreath-laying ceremony for Na Fianna Éireann members was organised by Republican Network for Unity (RNU) in the area.

A republican website said RNU and the Henry-Joy Republican Flute Band were present alongside other bands from Scotland.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has condemned the incident.

Right-thinking people must unite in condemning this sort of blinkered and bitter indulgence of a mentality which has been rightly rejected by the vast majority of society.

Nigel Dodds, DUP MP
“The organisers of this event need to come out and clearly and unreservedly condemn the firing of these shots,” he said.

“Otherwise people will conclude that the presence of this masked gunman and the firing of these shots were not contrary to their wishes and, indeed, occurred with their support.

“Any instance of gunfire on our streets is deplorable and is an attempt to bully and intimidate and to undermine law and order.”

Mr Dodds also asked about the level of monitoring and observation in place around the parade, which had been notified to the Parades Commission.

He said his party would be raising the incident with the PSNI.

DUP MLA for North Belfast Nelson McCausland has described the incident as a “scandal”.

“There are serious questions to be answered by the PSNI and the Parades Commision in relation to these events,” he said.

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly also condemned the incident.

“Dissidents are using these parades as some sort of cover to do other things,” he said.

“Their claim that they’re not using these parades is shown for the falsehood it is.”

Republican commemorations marking the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising have taken place across Northern Ireland.

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