Runai ginearalta eirigi [the general secretary of eirigi] Breandan Mac Cionnaith has condemned the continuing harassment of Lurgan republicans after three homes were raided on Wednesday morning by the PSNI.
A PSNI raiding party arrived at the homes at 7am in the morning and continuing into the afternoon. Among the homes raided were those belonging to relatives of imprisoned Armagh republican Colin Duffy. Around 100 PSNI officers were involved in the searches.
Mac Cionnaith said: “Early morning raids are something that republicans in the Lurgan area are unfortunately very used to. However, that in no way lessens the trauma caused when a family finds its home invaded and their possessions being rifled through.
“This morning, not only did the PSNI place massive strain on children by demanding they be taken from their beds so armed strangers could trample through their homes, they also confiscated harmless equipment being used for school projects and homework.”
Mac Cionnaith added: “These raids are about one thing - persecuting republicans for their political beliefs and activities. The ongoing harassment of the Duffy family is an extra malicious element that has been added by the PSNI.
“eirigi and the wider republican community in Lurgan and elsewhere will not remain silent while the political police attempt to isolate and criminalise those who dare to stand up to the status quo.
“The families targeted this morning should be left alone to get on with their lives in peace.”
Meanwhile, Fergal Moore, the vice president of Republican Sinn Fein, has again been dealing with the long arm of British law after he arrested at Lurgan court house.
The incident happened on September 7 as the Monaghan man was dealing with a charge which came about because he attended a protest to free Martin Corey, a republican who has been held without charge in Maghaberry jail for the past eighteen months.
The “ridiculous charges” were an attempt to imprison people for attending marches or protests against the establishment in the Six Counties, an RSF spokesperson said.
“Freedom of speech and movement is no longer a right to those who oppose British rule in Ireland and what is happening at present is tantamount to internment.
“This is a continued and sustained attempt by the British establishment to silence members of Republican Sinn Fein. Presumably this is what is meant by ‘normal policing’ on the part of the RUC/PSNI British political police.”