Irish Republican News · October 3, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Anger over harassment by British troops
Anger over harassment by British troops

barmydungiven.jpg

Children were left terrified by heavily armed British soldiers in County Derry when several lorries filled with troops carried out foot patrols near Dungiven last Friday, September 25.

The sight of British soldiers in the north of Ireland is a relative rarity compared to the height of the conflict, but last weekend’s incident is part of a trend of increased military activity in the County Derry area.

In recent weeks there has also been a dramatic increase in flights by military aircraft to and from the regional British Army base at Magilligan. Some military air traffic has also been seen flying at a low level over areas of north county Donegal in the 26 County state.

Video footage filmed on Friday by Rory Donaghy, a member of the Causeway Policing and Community Safety Partnership, shows the soldiers walking along a public road.

Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers said she was told the British troops were taking part in a training exercise. She said she received numerous complaints from concerned residents in relation to the military activity.

“I have been contacted by concerned locals about troops training around Drumsurn and how this is terrifying their children who have witnessed many lorry loads of armed men,” she said.

She had contacted the PSNI police and they said only that they are aware of training exercises.

“This is 2015 and it is time for the entire County Derry area to be demilitarised as we have seen in recent years troops training in Magilligan, these actions are seriously hampering the growth of local tourism and simply are not wanted by local people given the history of the British army.”

SRR IN ACTION

British troops, both regular infantry and specialist units, have also been actively deployed to north Belfast.

The Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective (GARC) said its Chairperson, Dee Fennell, had been taken from his car this week and searched by members of the British Army’s Special Reconnaissance Regiment working alongside heavily armed PSNI.

GARC has called for a protest later this month at the increased levels of Crown force harassment. Recent figures obtained by the group have shown that in the Ardoyne and Oldpark areas between January 2009 and January 2015 a total number of 4,597 stop-and-searches took place against that community – leading to just two arrests.

It has called for a “mass community mobilisation against British political policing” for Wednesday, October 14th.

It has also called on republicans to record their treatment at the hands of the Crown forces with their phones following last year’s court decision in the case of eirigi activist Stephen Murney. Mr Murney was held for 14 months on charges related in part to his recordings of PSNI harassment before being found not guilty.

“If they challenge you proudly remind them that our friend Stephen Murney had won a case against this,” they said.

© 2015 Irish Republican News