A Saoradh member has described a heavy-handed home invasion by British Crown Forces during which himself and his brother were detained and hauled off to Musgrave Interrogation Unit.
The raid took place in the early hours of Saturday morning, 7 December, and left the wheelchair-bound mother of the two brothers, who was only released from hospital the night before, to fend for herself. The family car was also seized.
“While being held in Musgrave I had to endure countless hours of gruelling interrogation, some lasting into the early hours of the morning, despite the fact there was not one shred of evidence linking me to the so called offences I was detained for,” said Derry man Ronnie McElwee.
“Having been held for four solid days in a British jail cell, Crown Force personnel and British Intelligence Operatives attempted to inflict further harassment and forms of intimidation on me by intermittently turning on the water sprinklers within the cell I was kept in.
“When I challenged them on this via the cell intercom, their only response was one of laughter.
“My so called crime and the overall reason for the invasion of my family home and my subsequent detention was keeping video records of the daily harassment myself, my brother and other Republicans face by British Crown Forces during stop and search procedures.”
The Saoradh member described how three different statements by Crown Force personnel were read to him during his detention.
“These statements made false malicious claims, with at least two of the statements contradicting each other. I was also asked to explain why I drive on certain roads in my own city and why I take certain routes home.
“As if facing constant harassment from this unreformable force isn’t enough, I was expected to justify my daily movements to these parasites.
“Further to the false claims and harassment, those interrogating me made veiled threats regarding my disabled mother, claiming she would be also be detained and held in the cell next to me.
“Knowing my mother to be the woman she is, I was confident that if these threats were put into action that she would stand tall through it all just like she did when our family home was invaded en masse by armed and masked British state gunmen.”
Mr McElwee said this type of behaviour “only hardens my Republican ideals, although difficult it shows the British mentality towards those who have not and will bend the knee. We are sons of the Republic.”