The day began with a convoy of armoured PSNI land rovers arriving at the estate at roughly 7am. Then, using a battering ram, they forced their way into the home of a member of éirígí under the guise of searching for firearms.
For several hours they searched the home, during which time they harassed residents and refused family members access to the victim’s house. Some of those involved in the raid were dressed in white forensic suits and had sniffer dogs with them. When the victim’s family members, who have lived in the estate all their lives, arrived at the scene they had assault rifles pointed at them and PSNI gunmen pretended to be shooting at them in a petty display of intimidation.
éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney, who lives in the estate, was also at the scene.
Stephen said, “Our comrade had his door kicked in, his home ransacked and his personal possessions rifled through by these thugs. They hit the door with the battering ram with such force it almost came off the hinges, the frame has also been badly damaged. Myself and number of other local republicans were prevented from getting anywhere near the house by members of the PSNI armed with assault rifles. Unsurprisingly the PSNI left empty handed after nothing was found.
“I counted no less than ten land rovers and there were dozens of TSG gunmen involved in this attack on our community; as usual the PSNI cheerleaders are nowhere to be seen or heard.”
Murney continued, “The level of harassment being meted out to republicans in Newry is unbelievable. Everyday there is some kind of incident, whether it’s a stop & search, arrest or a house raid. This isn’t the first time that party members in the Derrybeg estate have had their homes raided in such a manner. It hasn’t deterred us in the past and it certainly won’t deter us now. We offer our solidarity and support to our comrade who had to endure this brutal treatment at the hands of this unaccountable militia. He has lived in this area all his life and has suffered this type of treatment before, in recent months he has also found himself being stopped and searched on a regular basis.
“It’s clear that this man is being targeted because of his activities in éirígí and it’s also clear that the crown forces fear us, and fearful they should be.”
éirígí in Newry will be organising a public meeting in the very near future and one of the main topics of discussion will be the harassment and brutality the people of Newry have to constantly endure.
Details of this event will be published in the coming weeks.