Republican parade passes off peacefully

Sunday 11 August 2013 22.58
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Sinn Féin supporters parade past Castlederg PSNI station earlier this afternoon
Sinn Féin supporters parade past Castlederg PSNI station earlier this afternoon
Loyalist protesters hold pictures of IRA victims during a parade in Castlederg earlier today
Loyalist protesters hold pictures of IRA victims during a parade in Castlederg earlier today

A controversial republican parade has passed off without major incident in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

Several hundred unionists protested at the event which commemorated IRA men killed during the Troubles.

Unionist victims' campaigners waved fading black and white photos of people killed during the Troubles.

Some shouted angrily and two demonstrators temporarily broke through a security barrier.

The crowd was separated by a line of police officers from republican representatives, who numbered several hundred and included bandsmen, supporters and banner-carriers.

Earlier today, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers urged restraint from community leaders after violence in Belfast earlier this weekend and in advance of the Co tyrone parade.

56 police officers and two civilians were hurt on Friday night in loyalist rioting against a republican parade in the centre of Belfast.

Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the event in Castlederg was a remembrance occasion for republicans but should be sensitive and not offensive to others.

Unionist politicians led by DUP First Minister Peter Robinson had called for the parade to be banned arguing it "glorifies terrorism".

An Apprentice Boys loyalist parade in Derry yesterday passed without incident.