Reacting to yesterday’s political arrests and raids in Belfast and Lurgan, Republican Network For Unity(RNU) spokesperson, Martin Óg Meehan slammed the move as a blatant attempt not only to undermine the upcoming Easter Commemoration in Derry but also to undercut the growing signs of Republican discontent on a day which makes evident the chasm between Republicanism and those who serve British rule at Stormont.
“Easter is a hugely important time for Republicans across Ireland, when we commemorate those patriots who lost their lives to advance a Socialist Republic, as proclaimed in 1916. For the past few months, the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) and Derry Independent Republican Graves Association have been jointly organising a fitting tribute to fallen Volunteers.
Unsurprisingly, the RUC/PSNI has attempted to disrupt this by today’s arrest of RNU Ard Comhairle member, Tony Catney. Who has been instrumental in the planning of the above commemoration. Also detained was former Political Prisoner, Paul Duffy who is intended to be a guest-speaker on Easter Sunday. Alongside Tony and Paul, another two respected Republicans were also taken to Antrim Interrogation Centre.
During the remainder of the day the homes of the four men were destructively raided by the political Police. While their families, including children were placed under house arrest! Last year’s commemoration in Derry attracted a large crowd which was seen as a sign of growing opposition to British rule and housetrained Republicanism. The crown is reacting to growing Republican disquiet by targeting prominent Republicans who are seen to be organising that opposition.
RNU believe this latest round of political policing, proves the point more eloquently than anything that could be said that those who proclaimed that British rule in any part of Ireland was wrong and illegitimate are not hijacked by those calling for a deeper descent into a British administration.
In spite of this the Republican Network for Unity will continue to campaign on behalf of Republican objectives and will not be deterred from building a solid base.
RNU totally oppose the continued detention of Tony Catney, Paul Duffy and others and call for their immediate release”.