Northern Ireland

Derry dissident protest over jail dispute cancelled

A protest due to be held by dissident republicans in the centre of Londonderry on Saturday has been cancelled.

It was organised to highlight a dispute between dissident republican prisoners in Maghaberryl and prison authorities.

However, following the intervention of mediators, the dispute was resolved on Thursday.

The protest on Saturday was due to coincide with the annual Apprentice Boys march.

One of the protest's organisers, Gary Donnelly, rejected the claim that it had been timed to raise tensions in the city.

"A couple of months ago we decided to hold a weekly protest in Shipquay Street," he said.

"Each and every week, these protests passed off peacefully."

Police have welcomed the decision to cancel the protest.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said it was a "positive development".

He added: "It reduces some of the risks associated with Saturday.

"I think there will be many people in the city who will be pleased to hear that the prison protest has been called off.

"I would ask for everyone to show leadership over the next couple of days."

Thirteen thousand people are expected in Derry to watch the parade.

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