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category galway | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Saturday June 09, 2012 14:47author by Galway Alliance Against War Report this post to the editors

The Galway Alliance Against War will hold an unprecedented protest outside the home of Labour Deputy Derek Nolan tomorrow Sunday. We will assemble at 1pm at the entrance to the Riverside Estate on the Tuam Road Galway. This is a response to a deeply political raid by Garda Special Branch on the home of Niall Farrell, GAAW's PRO, on Thursday morning. The intention is to make it clear that such political harassment by the coalition's thought police will not be accepted! Please attend and spread the word.
Please see press release below


Press Release


In response to the raid by the Gardai Special Branch on the home of GAAW spokesperson, Niall Farrell, on Thursday last, Galway’s local peace group intends to protest outside the homes of government TDs in Galway beginning tomorrow, Sunday. During the raid on Mr Farrell’s home 3 computers were seized, one of which is urgently needed by Dr Farrell - Mr Farrell’s wife - for her work as a lecturer. The family home of Labour deputy Derek Nolan will be the first to be targeted at 1pm tomorrow.

Mr Farrell told the media that the raid on his home was “deeply political”: “This was a political raid on my family’s home, it was a direct attack by the government on the peace movement, which has consistently opposed for a decade Ireland’s complicity in the illegal “war on terror”: A war that has led to the killing of more that one million innocent people. I wish to make it clear that we will not allow the government parties to intimidate us. If they think they can use their political police to violate the sanctity of our homes, then we will bring our protests to the doorsteps of the politicians in Galway West whose government has sanctioned this assault on our human rights. This political harassment is ominously reminiscent of the FG/Labour coalition of the 1970s.

“We would call on people who support our right to peaceful protest to assemble tomorrow at 1pm at the entrance to the Riverside Estate on the Tuam Road Galway, to march to the family home of Labour TD Derek Nolan.

“We would remind people in Galway, city and county, that although the Gardai are under-resourced valuable police time is wasted on harassment of political opponents of the government. Only in the last week we have seen a vicious attack on an elderly couple in Co. Galway. In the Mervue area of Galway city, the syringes of junkies were found in an area where local children play. When the Gardai were contacted by concerned parents they were told the Gardai hadn’t the resources to stop junkies shooting-up in this children’s play area. But they have the resources to carry out a political raid on my home!

“At Dep Nolan’s home we will call on the deputy to demand that the head of the Republic’s “thought police”, Minister Alan Shatter, return immediately the property seized from our home last Thursday. And to demand that all such acts of harassment and intimidation of the peace movement cease immediately.

“What was particularly disgusting about this raid that although three members of my family our females – and that the raid occurred early in the morning when the women of the house were in bed – there were no female Gardai involved. This caused particular distress.

“It became clear to us that this raid had nothing to do with the suspicion that any crime had been carried out by any member of the Farrell household, it was rather a deeply political raid.

“My daughter, Mairead Farrell, is a well known spokesperson for the Oranmore Cumann of Sinn Fein and the Gardai made numerous references to this fact during the raid. They spent more time searching her bedroom than any other area of our home. And they kept insisting that I and my wife must also be Sinn Fein members – although that is not the case – it was expressed in a way as though SF was in some way illegal. One member of the thought police said to my daughter’s boyfriend, who was also present during the raid, that one of the officers involved in the raid had close links to leading figures in the Workers Party and that my daughter and her boyfriend should join the politically irrelevant WP. During the raid insulting remarks were made about 3 specific members of Sinn Fein: Gerry Adams TD, Martin Ferris TD and the deputy head of the N. Ireland Assembly Martin Mc Guinness.

“This officer did not mention the fact that the leader of the WP, Sean Garland, is being sought in the USA for a very serious criminal offence and that this party has organic links to the Official IRA. I discovered during the raid that the officer with close links to the WP was the officer in overall charge of the raid. His name is Kevin O’Hagan and he is based at Shannon Garda station. His father Raymond was a candidate for the Official Republican Movement in 1973 in Belfast. Garda O’Hagan’s uncle Desi O’Hagan – or as Garda O’Hagan, while interrogating myself, nonchalantly called him by his nickname “the Devil” – was previously known as a senior member of the Official IRA.

“Throughout the almost four hour raid of our home we were held incommunicado. We were not allowed to see the actual search warrant and we still have not seen it. The Gardai forced their way into our home as though they were above the law. These actions are so reminiscent of the activities of the Gardai during the awful Fine Gael – Labour coalition of the 1970s. In the view of the Galway Alliance Against War this attack on our group has all the hallmarks of a vindictive and poisonous Labour Party whose support is in serious decline.

“It is the attention of GAAW to make an official complaint to the Garda ombudsman. After two previous experiences of this body we do not expect any independent examination of these very political police.”

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