PSNI aggression in Armagh
PSNI aggression in Armagh

Sinn Fein Six-County Minister Conor Murphy has lambasted the PSNI police after they used loudhailers, spotlights and marksmen to arrest a man who was later cleared of any involvement in a suspected robbery.

The arrest took place in the middle of the night in the small village of Newtowncloghoge, located near the border and south of Newry in County Armagh.

Mr Murphy said the PSNI had carried out the arrest after a witness supposedly recognised the man’s voice. It has since emerged that the man, who does not want to be identified, was released later and is no longer a suspect in the case.

Mr Murphy, the local Sinn Fein MP, said he was “disgusted” at the way the PSNI handled the case.

“I find it absolutely shocking that the police would be so ready to act in such a heavy-handed manner based on the evidence of a severely traumatised victim,” he said.

Mr Murphy, the minister for regional development, said the family had been through a “terrible ordeal”.

“The account of how the PSNI handled this gentleman’s arrest, on the flimsiest of evidence, leaves a lot to be de sired,” he said.

“It is neither acceptable nor necessary for police to descend on a house in the middle ofa small estate in the dead of night with sirens blaring to arrest one individual.

“This was an extremely traumatic experience for this gentleman and his family.

“At 5am PSNI came in to this estate with an entourage of police marksmen, loudhailers and spotlights and ordered this family out of their home.

“This type of policing was not acceptable in the darkest days of the Troubles and it is certainly not acceptable now.

“The PSNI need a serious re examination of their procedures in this type of incident.

“l am disgusted with their handling of this case.

“They must urgently explain their actions and remove the stigma of criminality which now hangs over this man.”

* Last week, over 40 republicans took to the streets of nearby Newry to protest against PSNI harassment.

The protest was organised by eirigi in response to a dramatic upsurge in Crown Forces harassment directed towards party activists in the area in recent months. The harassment has included house raids, stop and searches and, more recently, threats and assaults.

The protesters gathered at Ardmore barracks in Newry, where they erected a banner on the fortified sangar situated at the front of the militarised base. They then proceeded to paste posters exposing the unchanged nature of British policing in the Six Counties on the front wall of the barracks.

For the duration of the protest, those in attendance were kept under constant surveillance by the political police, who filmed and videoed the protesters and even went to the lengths of recording the registration numbers of passing motorists who beeped their horns in support.


Meanwhile, the Six-County Justice Minister David Ford has published the details of a 20 million pound ‘gratuity’ scheme for members of the RUC and PSNI Part-Time Reserve.

It is part of the British government’s financial deal for the transfer of policing and justice powers to Belfast.

Mr Ford said that the “payments are to be made in recognition of the particular circumstances of those who volunteered to serve”.

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