Gary Donnelly has claimed there's widespread anger over the seizure of fireworks from Saoradh HQ

Independent Creggan councillor, Gary Donnelly, has expressed anger over yesterday morning's raid of Saoradh's national headquarters in Derry during which over 300 fireworks were seized.

Friday, 26th October 2018, 10:33 am
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 11:40 am
Councillor Gary Donnelly.
Councillor Gary Donnelly.

Colr. Donnelly claimed there was widespread anger in the local community due to the nature of the policing operation, which the PSNI have confirmed was supported by a ‘Military Search’ unit of the British Army.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ Colr. Donnelly said: “This reinforces for me the real nature of British policing in Ireland.

“It’s not community policing. They don’t care about the community.”

Councillor Gary Donnelly.

With regard to Saoradh’s claims that the raid was timed to coincide with the official launch of the party’s Brexit policy last night, Colr. Donnelly said it was alarming a political party had been targeted in this manner.

“They were backed up by British soldiers to raid the office of a political party to score cheap political points. There is anger,” he declared.

Colr. Donnelly also said there had been broad support for Saoradh’s confiscation of the fireworks, which, he said, were a scourge in the Creggan area and elsewhere.

“It was my understanding that they [police] were told by people who would support policing about the fireworks problem but that they refused to act. But when people within the community removed the fireworks, which are a danger and a menace, then they poured all the resources of the State into an early morning raid whilst at the same time these people ignore crime within our community,” he claimed.

The Creggan councillor raised the matter during last night's monthly meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council in the Guildhall.