Warning over political policing in 26 Counties
Warning over political policing in 26 Counties


The Republican Network for Unity has warned that a policy of selective internment is now being used against republicans by the state forces in the 26 counties.

Their statement follows a recent ‘crackdown’ against republicans ahead of the visit to the state of British royals Charles and Camilla.

“This policy is being used as a means to attempt to break the spirit and determination of the Republican community,” said RNU spokesperson Ann McParland. “The recent arrests and the subsequent internment of three individuals... only serves as a constant reminder of the 26 county government’s active participation in what is a British government agenda.”

There is a dark history of imprisoning republicans without trial in the 26 County state, from the 1920’s through the 1970’s, and up until the present day.

Ms McParland said there had been a return of a “policy of persecution” and the “normalisation of the infringement of the republican community’s human rights”. This had been cemented by a recent Supreme Court ruling to allow the use of evidence gathered illegally.

“The very fact that any republican who engages in electoral work and or any form of political activism can have charges levied against them, coupled with the fact that the word of [a police superintendent] is enough to have you interned, is evidence of the state endorsed campaign against the Republican community.”

She also called on Sinn Fein and others to “examine their conscience in relation to the blatant targeting and continuous persecution of republican individuals and their families through the policy of political policing.

“The electorate must question the intentions of the current administration in relation to powers being afforded to Gardai at the moment to suppress any alternative political voice or opinion.”

The arrest of the RNU chairperson in the Strabane area this week was also being linked to the agenda of political policing across the island.

“The man who lives with his wife and three children was hauled away by the RUC/PSNI as armed thugs marauded through his home,” the group said.

“The over-the-top security operation, recognisable to republicans throughout Ireland, was both unneeded and unnecessary. The state militia occupied the RNU activist’s home, distressing his young family for over six hours.

“This comes after a wave of RUC/PSNI and British Army harassment directed against RNU members and their families in recent weeks, often involving destructive house raids, stop and searches along with futile arrests.”

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