Saoradh members jailed for Christmas window decoration
Saoradh members jailed for Christmas window decoration


Saoradh has condemned the recent sentencing of two party members in Derry following their conviction for a Christmas decoration on the window of their party headquarters, Junior McDaid House.

The annual Christmas window display at Junior McDaid House depicted a snowman turning on Christmas decorations with what appeared to some to be a detonator. The image on the mural also contained the words “They Haven’t Gone Away Ye Know”.

It was previously stated by judge Barney McElholm, in reference to the two party members, that “the very fact they were outside Junior McDaid House was enough to show support for a proscribed organisation”.

Jailing the two men, Judge Rafferty connected the window dressing to “offensive” murals, which he claimed “signify to people whether or not they are welcome in a particular area. It is part of the urban geography we all navigate, and those who put up such offensive murals must expect to be sentenced upon conviction.”

The two artists received jail sentences of two and three months respectively.

While Saoradh has in the past expressed solidarity with the New IRA, the political party denounced the judge’s identification of the two as “absurd”.

“Saoradh helps local people deal with a wide range of issues including welfare rights advice, housing advice and general community enquires amongst many other socioeconomic issues,” they said.

“It’s clear that the British state are pursuing a relentless strategy to jail as many Republicans as possible. A punitive policy to take activists away from their families and communities; out of sight and out of mind.

“When Republicans are targeted by the British occupation forces, backed by their political mouthpieces in Stormont, they can expect to held for anything up to 5 years on remand in a British gaol away from their families, communities and comrades.

“Many of these cases are built on sand and eventually collapse before trial, although the end result is that those Republicans are held in gaol for several years despite being innocent.

“Saoradh call on all Republicans, Nationalists, those who champion human rights and the ever silent Catholic Church to open your eyes, see what is happening in front of you and speak out about it. Being a Republican is not a crime.”

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