Renowned Irish musician Christy Moore has spoken out against anti-Irish harassment after enduring victimisation at the hands of British police.
Mr Moore was questioned about his song lyrics, his Irish family and friends at the port of Holyhead in Wales after he got off a ferry from Dublin on Monday afternoon.
The 60-year-old folk singer and his driver were detained and questioned separately for over two hours by police citing the “Prevention of Terrorism” Act.
The renowned singer, who appeared in this year’s West Belfast Festival, said the police had given him a terrifying experience and said that they refused to give him a reason. None of his equipment, bags or his car were searched, he pointed out.
In a statement he said yesterday: “My driver and I were stopped and held for two hours at Holyhead last Monday, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002. My driver and I were held separately in two interrogation rooms. I found the whole experience threatening. I was questioned about the contents of my briefcase.”
“I was questioned about lyrics of songs and I was asked a lot of personal questions about members of my family and my children and about my home. At no time was I given any explanation as to why I was being held and interrogated in this manner,” he added.
He said the fact that Irish people are still being treated this way on their way to the UK is very “saddening”.
“I had hoped to deal with this matter out of the public domain. But seeing as it has become a news item, I feel the need to offer my side of the story. I found the whole affair quite frightening.”
Dublin’s Ambassador in London was informed of the incident, as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
Mr Moore, a former member of Planxty and Moving Hearts, was due to play two gigs in Liverpool before returning home to Ireland on Sunday.
The British Home Office last night said it was aware of the incident but could not comment.