Members of the PSNI police in Newry have made a direct threat to kill a prominent member of the republican socialist party eirigi, the party said this week.
The threat was made on Friday evening [October 26] when Stephen Murney, the spokesman for eirigi in Newry, was stopped and searched by members of the PSNI just minutes after he left a community event in the town. The well attended event was being held to promote suicide awareness and prevention.
During the stop and search in Monaghan Street, one member of the armed PSNI unit menacingly told Murney, “I’ll put a bullet in your f***ing head.”
Commenting on the incident, Murney said, “I was stopped and searched by the PSNI in Monaghan Street shortly after leaving the suicide awareness event. It was during that search that a member of the PSNI said he would put a bullet in my head.
“Given the history of collusion between the Six-County police force and loyalist death squads, I am taking the threat seriously. In the past, similar threats were made to people and, in many cases, those threats were later carried out by state forces acting in conjunction with their loyalist proxies.
“While the threat is a worrying development it certainly won’t be deterring me from my political activities. I will be recording the details of this threat with my legal representatives and with the human rights group CAJ.”
Eirigi Runai ginearalta [General Secretary] Breandan Mac Cionnaith said: “Such behaviour by the PSNI is totally unacceptable, although it is far from surprising. The PSNI has inherited the old bully-boy tactics of the RUC. Indeed, half of the current manpower of the PSNI who patrol the streets of the Six Counties were themselves members of the RUC. It is little wonder that they feel that they can act with impunity.
“Constitutional nationalist parties have created a smokescreen of cover for the PSNI to engage in widespread harassment and human rights abuses. Contrary to what those parties state, incidents such as these confirm the reality that the PSNI is merely the old RUC dressed up in new uniforms with a new name.”