Eirigi claim PSNI Provocation Continues in Newry

April 24, 2012

Republican group, eirigi have slammed what they call “an upsurge in PSNI harassment” this month, claiming they have been inundated with reports of harassment incidents taking place throughout the Newry area.  The group believe the PSNI are targeting éirígí activists, former republican prisoners, adults, children and “people going about their daily business”, on an almost daily basis.

They listed twenty one incidents of harassment reported to the party so far this month, some which, they claim, involved children subjected to witnessing parents being stopped and searched.  Eirigi say one particular search resulted in a young Gaelic player missing a GAA photo shoot with his local youth team.  In another incident, the group claim the PSNI searched a father in front of his child and subsequently searched and detained a family friend who had been called to come and remove the child from the scene.

Eirigi spokesperson, Stephen Murney, alleges that he was also the target of harassment as he and three other eirigi acitvists were surrounded at gunpoint in Monaghan Street, while erecting eirigi posters.

Mr Murney said,

“A total of ten PSNI gunmen in two armoured cars and an armoured landrover surrounded four éirígí activists at gunpoint in Monaghan St. At the time the activists were erecting “Britain Out Of Ireland” posters and were threatened with arrest if they didn’t stop what were clearly legitimate political activities.

“All the activists were searched for ammunition, wireless apparatus and transmitters and had their movements recorded.”

According to Mr Murney, the PSNI paid him “particular attention” and detained the group for half an hour, they were “allowed on their way and carried on with their political activities undeterred.”

The eirigi representative further cited police operations on 11th April in the Carnagat, Parkhead and Derrybeg areas of Newry, during which, he alleges, “residents were harassed and intimidated for the duration of this exercise in ‘community policing’.”

Commenting on the situation, Stephen Murney said,

“These incidents are not surprising in the slightest. It’s clear that the PSNI remains just as unaccountable and unreformable as their predecessors in the RUC. It is noticeable that those parties which have given their support to the PSNI and who promised “to put manners” on that force have totally failed to do that.  The PSNI attitude is clearly one of doing what they want, when they want.

“We are currently organising a number of initiatives to counter British state force harassment in Newry. In the very near future, we will be holding a number of events to highlight this upsurge in harassment in the Newry area and we also will be launching a “Know your rights” campaign. The details will be publicised as soon as they are finalised.”