The Derry branch of republican party Saoradh have hit out at an intensive campaign of arrests and intimidation in the city which has seen the vice-chair of the party arrested twice in one week.
The first raid took place on Saturday in a typical heavy handed assault on the family home, when personal items were searched, electronic items seized and school work destroyed.
Saoradh representative Paddy Gallagher said: “Such is the vindictiveness of the Crown Force personnel, they told the wife of the Republican that he will be missing his daughter’s Confirmation.”
He added: “As the British war machine effectively tries to quash any and all forms of Republicanism via house raids, stop and searches, dirty tricks, informants, trumped up charges and Internment; we must resist.”
The raids came after the party held a press conference to condemn more than a dozen violent raids on the homes of their activists, as well as repeated approaches by British intelligence to recruit members as informers.
Speaking to local journalists in the party’s office in Derry, the party’s chairperson in the city, Joe Barr, read out a statement flanked by those Saoradh members who have been recently arrested and released.
PSNI stop and search documents were displayed on the desk before them.
The Saoradh representative said that harassment of party members by the police is also due to the “acquiescence of hypocrites who have long claimed to be upholders of civil rights.”
“We are well accustomed to the hypocrisy of political parties in this regard, unveiled now in the face of this onslaught. They have had nothing to say -- in fact they have encouraged this. Also notable in their absence from any condemnation of the British states tactics are the usual suspects.
“Where are the trade unions, religious figures and the bootlickers within the GAA?
“Will there be a full page spread in the All Ireland final programme about what we are enduring to match the extensive coverage they gave to futile PSNI recruitment advertisements?
“Where are they now when our children and loved ones are being intimidated and our homes are being ripped apart and our children watch our parents being dragged off to be intimidated?”
Mr Barr said that as a police force, the PSNI (previously RUC) were “unreformed and unreformable”. He also displayed one of the ‘become an informer’ cards which have been handed to Saoradh members during operations.
“After the search our activist was handed his card on which was written the name of a bank, located next door to his work, an account number a sort code and a sum of money. The activist has since been visited in his work and asked how he was doing for money,” he said.
“Thankfully, the people of Derry have an example of what happens to those who agree to work for MI5. His name was Raymond Gilmour and he was literally left to rot in a flat in England alone when he was no longer useful.”
The party representative also said there are no plans to stand Saoradh candidates in forthcoming elections.
“There are no shortage of these naïve fools who are wrapped up in their own propaganda that Saoradh is just like the Provisional movement and there will somehow be a point at which we will be forced into the role of quislings,” Mr Barr said.
“They are wrapped up in the notion that Saoradh represents a mere remnant of the past which can be defeated. They are wrong. This party is going nowhere. This party is working day and Dáily to develop its revolutionary position and activism. We will be like nothing that has gone before us.”