Sunday, 23 September 2012
The socialist republican party éirígí has rejected an offer from the PSNI to engage with the force.
The offer emerged following reports in the local media in Newry in which the PSNI responded to éirígí’s statement exposing the fact that undercover British state operatives approached a neighbour of the party’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney and attempted to recruit him into working for them in gathering information.
Dismissing the suggestion that the party should meet with the British forces, éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “The first thing to note is that the PSNI do not deny that they were involved in a surreptitious approach to one of my neighbours and attempted to pressurise him into working for them as a spy. The very fact that the PSNI didn’t deny this vindicates our decision to publicise the underhand nature of these PSNI activities.
“The person who was approached by the PSNI to spy made very detailed statements about these incidents to an independent legal representative and to a human rights organisation. Those statements indicate that these approaches were first made during the early summer. Indeed, those statements also show that the PSNI called to the man's home several weeks before those dates on which the PSNI assert they were conducting house to house enquiries.
“The suggestion that anyone who finds themselves being targeted by the PSNI should contact the PSNI is clearly absurd. Meeting and engaging with those directly involved in such activity would serve no meaningful purpose.
“As for the attempt by the PSNI’s PR office to portray éirígí’s highlighting of very real and serious issue of human rights’ concern as a ‘tit-for-tat debate about the past’, nothing could be further from the truth.
“The recruitment of informers and pressurising neighbours to spy on neighbours is part of the PSNI’s current present day tactics, approved at the most senior levels within that force. It is the PSNI who are continuing to use and implement on a daily basis the discredited policies and tactics of the past.”
Murney continued, “éirígí will continue to be active in our communities. Our members in Newry, and indeed across Ireland, include many activists who have been involved in working on behalf of their communities for years. That work includes helping our neighbours in need, spearheading community projects and initiatives, taking part in and supporting charitable events, lobbying for improvements for various community issues, organising community clean ups, and involvement in the public and voluntary sector as well being active in trade unions.”
Stephen added, “In contrast, it is the PSNI who are the heavy-handed strangers and outsiders seeking to undermine our communities.”
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Activities by the British state forces in Newry have taken a sinister twist after it emerged that covert undercover MI5/PSNI operatives are actively targeting éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney.
The revelations emerged after a neighbour of Stephen’s came forward to éirígí to make it known that he had been approached by plain clothed security force personnel who tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit him to work for them in gathering information on Stephen.
The build up to this approach began several weeks ago, when the victim, a family man, had to attend Ardmore PSNI barracks about a family matter, during which he had to provide his name and address.
Shortly afterwards the man had an early morning visit to his Derrybeg home by the PSNI accompanied by plain clothed personnel, who didn’t identify themselves. They claimed to be investigating a burglary in a nearby cul-de-sac but rather than make enquiries about the alleged burglary, they pressed the man to tell them how long he had lived at the address and how many people lived in his house along with a number of other personal non-related questions.
These questions immediately raised suspicions and the victim asked if would also they be calling to the rest of the houses in the street. They said they would, but after leaving his house, they immediately got into their vehicles and drove off, without making any more door to door enquiries as they stated.
Since that incident, it has come to light that there was no burglary as stated by the PSNI. Several residents in the small, quiet street where the burglary was alleged to have occurred have all stated that they had not heard of any such incident taking place.
That this was the only house visited in the street would suggest this wasn’t a normal door-to-door enquiry. It now seems this was an initial attempt to ‘suss out’ the individual before the next step in the process which took place a few weeks later.
On this occasion the man was walking down Hill Street in Newry on a Tuesday afternoon. A well dressed man wearing a suit approached him, called him by his name and referred to his attendance at Ardmore PSNI station a few weeks previously and asked him if the matter had been resolved. The victim, thinking this person was a PSNI member, replied yes, that as far as he was concerned it was resolved. The fact that the plain clothed individual failed to identify himself as a member of the PSNI would suggest that a more sinister agency was at play.
This unidentified individual then began questioning the victim about éirígí’s Stephen Murney, who lives close to him. The victim was asked if he had any information on Stephen that he would like to pass on. Quite sensibly, he replied that he didn’t know anything but just kept himself to himself. He was also quizzed about Stephen’s movements, activities and those who he associates with before being finally being asked if he would be willing to spy on Stephen and gather information for them. Stephen’s neighbour refused this request.
The unidentified state agent then menacingly made it known that he knew the victim had been speaking to Stephen in a city centre establishment located in Monaghan Street a few weeks beforehand. This would further confirm that the éirígí activist has already been placed under surveillance by state forces.
Speaking about the approach éirígí’s Rúnaí Ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, said, “Stephen’s neighbour is to be commended for coming forward and making it known that these shadowy forces, unsuccessfully, attempted to pressurise him into gathering information on a member of an open political party.
“I have spoken with the man to whom these approaches were made and it’s clear that he was clearly unsettled by this whole episode.
“Stephen Murney is openly and actively engaged in legitimate political activities and in helping the community in Derrybeg and other parts of Newry. Like all members of our party, Stephen has nothing to hide. These cowardly sinister forces on the other hand are working in the shadows under cover and out of sight to target him and others.
“Incidents like this certainly won’t deter Stephen or any other éirígí activist. If anything, it proves that the political course we have chosen is correct.”
Breandán concluded, “This approach has since been recorded with the Committee on the Administration of Justice [CAJ] and the victim’s legal representatives.
“I would urge anyone who is approached in this manner, regardless of whether the approach is made by PSNI, MI5 operatives or both, to come forward and expose their ominous activities.”
Sunday, 2 September 2012
éirígí in Newry have slammed the PSNI after they carried out a stop and search on a cancer charity vehicle and its occupants on Wednesday [August 29].
The vehicle was making a delivery just outside Newry when a PSNI patrol car, travelling towards them, conducted a u-turn and pursued them with sirens sounding and lights flashing.
The charity vehicle was pulled in by this very aggressive PSNI patrol, the occupants questioned and vehicle searched for unknown items.
éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney condemned the incident. He said, “Our party was contacted on Wednesday and the incident was reported to us. We spoke to the passenger of the charity van who told us of his shock and disgust at the conduct and attitude of the PSNI.
“This man has been unjustly targeted by the PSNI on a few occasions and it would appear that this was the sole excuse needed for the PSNI to aggressively stop and search this van, which I might add was clearly marked with signs on the front and sides which identified it as a cancer charity vehicle.
“This isn’t the first time the PSNI have targeted people involved in charity work in the Newry area. Only few months ago we highlighted another incident wherein a local man collecting sponsorship for another local charity found himself being stopped and searched in Hill Street and, on that occasion, the PSNI went as far as taking his sponsorship card from him. Shortly afterwards the same man was harassed while training for a marathon to raise much needed charity sponsorship funds.”
Murney concluded, “The victims in this latest incident were, at the time, working for the benefit of those less fortunate than themselves. They were engaging in charitable work yet they found themselves on the receiving end of state harassment. Both victims should be commended for the work they were doing, not persecuted and punished by the use of repressive laws.”
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has condemned the planned appearance of a British Army military band in the exclusive K Club as a “sickening public relations stunt”. Leeson has also confirmed that the socialist republican party will be actively opposing the October 5th event, which is being organised by the Security and Emergency Services Ireland Forum (SESIF) in conjunction with the Jack and Jill Foundation.
The format for the event will see a military band from the British Army’s Irish Guards regiment perform on the lawns of the K Club in front of spectators who will pay up to €200 per person for the privilege. While an entrance fee equivalent to more than a week’s dole may seem extravagant to most people, it is but pocket change to those who frequent the K Club, where a single night in the Imperial Suite costs a staggering €7,950!
Since its foundation in 2007 the SESIF has focused much of its energies on attempts to rehabilitate the image of Britain’s occupation forces in Ireland. It routinely organises events which include members of both the paramilitary PSNI and the British Army. For their part the Jack and Jill Foundation describe the history of the Irish Guards as “long and noble. A Regiment of foot guards formed by Queen Victoria in 1900 as her salute to the outstanding involvement of Irish Soldiers in the Boer War.” Those with a better grasp of history would question the nobility of war crimes, including the establishment of the world’s first concentration camps, which is exactly what the British did during the Boer War.
In more recent times the Irish Guards have inflicted a reign of terror on the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2003 the regiment was to the fore of the illegal invasion of Iraq, killing an unknown number of people in the conquest of the city of Basra. In one incident three members of the Irish Guards forced a fifteen-year-old into a canal before watching the boy, who was unable to swim, drown before their eyes. A noble history indeed.
Speaking from Dublin Brian Leeson said, “Those who have conspired to bring the British Army to the K Club are guilty of organising a sickening public relations stunt. The perversion of incorporating the British military into a fund-raising event for an Irish children’s charity will not be lost on the people of Ireland. The British military has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. In one well documented case members of the Irish Guards were responsible for the drowning of a fifteen-year-old boy, Ahmed Jabar Karheem, in a canal in 2003.
“While it is no surprise that the SESIF are involved in organising a publicity stunt of this sort it is shocking that a children’s charity has lent its support to it. The parading of the British Army around the K Club will do nothing but cause division and distress to the victims of the British Army in Ireland. The British Army was directly and indirectly responsible for the murders of hundreds of Irish citizens over the last forty years. Has the Jack and Jill Foundation anything to say about that? Or has it anything to say to the parents or the siblings of those children who died at the hands of the British Army in Ireland? Has the Jack and Jill Foundation asked the relatives of those who died in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings what they think of their Irish Guards extravaganza?”
Leeson continued by outlining the true motives behind the K Club event, “Whether the Jack and Jill Foundation realise it or not, this event has nothing to do with reconciling relations between the peoples of Britain and Ireland or fundraising for charity. This stunt is just the latest attempt by Britain and her supporters in Ireland to normalise the occupation of the Six Counties.
“Like the royal visit last May it is designed to present a false image of normal relations between these two islands. And like that visit it serves only the interests of the ruling class here and in Britain. These lavish events in the banqueting halls of Dublin Castle and the K Club are nothing more than disgusting demonstrations of excess, where the rich and powerful come together to toast their own success and reaffirm the status quo.
“éirígí is calling on the Jack and Jill Foundation to withdraw their support for, and involvement in, the Irish Guards event at the K Club. They need to protect the integrity of their organisation and prevent it from being cynically used by those with ulterior motives. To do otherwise is to move out of the arena of charity and into the arena of politics, something which will inevitably cause division and reduce the level of support for the Jack and Jill Foundation.”
If you are opposed to the British Army’s presence in the K Club please contact the Jack and Jill Foundation and let them know how you feel:
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-and-Jill-Childrens-Foundation/295613613769
By email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
By Phone: (353) 45 - 894538/660