There were heavy PSNI raids lasting for over four hours against the homes of republican families in Creggan, Derry on Monday, February 28, 2017, just three days before the Stormont Assembly election. Three family homes were badly damaged, while cars were seized as well as phones, tablets and other electronic items belonging to children.
Republican Sinn Fein said parts of Creggan seemed to be “under siege” and that a number of men were taken away for interrogation but were later released. They condemned Sinn Fein candidates for avoiding any pre-election comment on the searches, which took place in a traditionally republican area.
“The raids went on for hours, yet nothing incriminating was found,” they said. “We call on all people to oppose this occupation of the six north-eastern counties of Ireland, reject Stormont for what it is; a means of normalising the occupation and a method of paying of former Republicans.
“The only solution not yet tried is the complete and total withdrawal of the occupying forces and the dismantling of the British system of governance. It is past time for a United and Sovereign Ireland.”
Saoradh also condemned the raids and noted the silence of the Stormont party candidates.
“After an IRA attack last week on a member of the Crown Forces, local politicians were climbing over each other to condemn,” they said. “Their silence last night and this morning after attacks within their own communities tells us all we need to know in regards to where their loyalties lie.”
The organisation known as the new IRA has claimed responsibility for last week’s under-car bomb attack against a member of the PSNI.
In their statement, the IRA said they had targeted a member of the PSNI based at their headquarters in east Belfast. The IRA statement noted the bomb was fitted with a secondary anti-handling device and featured a plastic explosive it had not used before.
Using a recognised codeword, the organisation said it used a “new type of tilt switch, detonator and plastic explosives”. It added that they would continue “to attack members of the British armed forces at a time of our choosing”.