Video: Dawn raid on Saoradh HQ; party claims it was political ahead of Brexit launch

Saoradh has hit out at a dawn raid of its national headquarters in Derry this morning alleging it was politically motivated ahead of the party's official launch of its new Brexit policy document in Belfast this evening.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 1:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th October 2018, 2:15 pm
An image of the police operation at Junior McDaid House this morning. Picture supplied by Saoradh.

Over 300 fireworks that the party said it confiscated with community support in Creggan over the last month were seized by detectives from the PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit supported by local PSNI officers shortly after 5 a.m. this morning.

Following the raid of its Junior McDaid House offices in Chamberlain Street, Saoradh representative, Paddy Gallagher claimed the operation was political and alleged that it was supported by members of the British Army and security services.

“Over the course of the past week British Crown Forces have directed an onslaught of harassment towards Saoradh activists and this has culminated in a combined British Army and British Military Intelligence raid on our party headquarters, despite former Republicans telling us there is no British Army operating in the North of Ireland anymore," said Mr. Gallagher.

An image of the police operation at Junior McDaid House this morning. Picture supplied by Saoradh.

"It is clear that our party headquarters, our party members and our support base are being actively targeted in a futile attempt to stop the public availing of the free services we offer,” he added.

Mr. Gallagher questioned the timing of the raid as the party prepared for a significant policy announcement this evening.

"It is no coincidence that as Saoradh are due to publicly launch our Brexit document this evening, British Military Intelligence raid our party headquarters in an attempt to disrupt our political ideology.

"Attacks like this will do nothing to thwart Republican activism and will only harden our resolve," he said.

Saoradh said its confiscation of the seized fireworks was a response to community concerns and a public rally a number of weeks ago in the Creggan area.

"Saoradh gave assurances and undertook responsibility to do all that we could to stop anti-community activity in regards to the improper use of fireworks," the party said.

"Having patrolled the area continuously for a number of weeks, Saoradh activists seized a large quantity of fireworks, something that we have openly and publicly displayed.

"These fireworks were then taken to Junior McDaid House where they were dismantled and soaked in water in preparation for other community representatives to safely dispose of them," the party added.