Republican Sinn Féin have criticised the RUC for their heavy-handed raids in Co. Armagh.
RSF CONDEMN CRAIGAVON RAIDS
The Royal Ulster Constabulary launched a full-scale assault in the Craigavon area of County Armagh. The raids – executed ostensibly to deal with Republican activity in North Armagh – commenced at approximately 5:30a.m. Nine people were arrested and are currently being interrogated at the so-called “Serious Crime Suite” contained within Antrim RUC Barracks.
Richard Walsh – a member of the Ard-Chomhairle of Republican Sinn Féin and PRO for Comhairle Uladh (Ulster Executive) – said that Republican Sinn Féin had learnt that the British Colonial Police went out of their way to assault and harass those present, and to damage property. “Cutters were used to enter houses without giving the occupants any opportunity to answer their doors. A pensioner was knocked down a flight of stairs, and a pregnant girl was locked in a cold room. The girl had to be hospitalised as a result of her ordeal at the hands of the RUC, and our thoughts are with her at this time. Searches were also carried out on children's toys and nappies, and a pond was drained and excavated – killing all the fish living in it. One-hundred copies of the Republican Movement's monthly newspaper, Saoirse, were also seized.”
He added that, contrary to claims in the media that the British military presence had been scaled down, low-flying helicopters were continuing to fly throughout the night, harassing the local community with search-lights.
Mr. Walsh also criticised the SDLP's Dolores Kelly for remarks she had made in the aftermath. “Ms. Kelly should be advised that it is the actions of people like herself which are putting people at risk. She is a renowned British propagandist and an apologist for the British forces of Occupation. Each time the Nationalist population of North Armagh are attacked by the RUC and their cohorts she launches into a tirade against those who believe in the right to National self-determination.
“Dolores Kelly does not believe in due process even under the auspices of her beloved foreign British law. On every occasion she seeks to imply 'guilt' on the part of those arrested, despite the fact that they are often subsequently released and certainly have not been convicted of having engaged in any action proscribed by the English government.”
He added that “the actions of her friends in the British Crown Forces will only increase the resolve of all true Republicans to finally expel the British from our country. These are the forces that are engaged in serious terrorist crime in Ireland.”