On Saturday last (February 23), on what was a snowy day in county Wicklow, dozens of éirígí activists joined fellow republicans and socialists to call for the immediate release of éirígí member Stephen Murney. The Newry man is currently held in Maghaberry Gaol in County Antrim. The solidarity demonstration organised by éirígí Cill Mhantáin took place on the Dargle Bridge in Bray.
Hundreds of leaflets highlighting Stephen’s case were distributed to passers-by, while cars and other vehicles sounded their horns in support of the messages on the placards which read ‘Free Stephen Murney – End Internment by Remand’. The demonstration ended with protestors taking to the Main Street of Bray to hold a white line picket. The picket was symbolic of the days when action committees held demonstrations for the republican prisoners in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.
Speaking after the demonstration, local éirígí spokesperson Adrian O’Raghallaigh said, “Our Newry comrade has now been held on spurious charges in Maghaberry for over three months. It’s a clear case of political policing at its worst. Stephen is widely known as a hard working and diligent community activist in the Newry area.
“Only very recently Stephen was taken from Maghaberry to Antrim Holding Centre and then on to Newry courthouse where he had two additional charges brought against him. The prosecution charged Stephen with having images of British paramilitary police that had been taken at protests, commemorations or downloaded from the internet. They also charged him with causing ‘criminal damage’ to property owned by people unknown; in other words, being in possession of political stencils in the Newry area.”
O’Raghallaigh continued, “It’s nothing strange to see the RUC/PSNI targeting Newry republicans like Stephen. éirígí in the city have continued to highlight the injustices carried out by Britain’s paramilitary police force in the area. Local éirígí activists have witnessed the ongoing British state harassment and intimidation, with many hundreds of ‘stop and search’ orders being directed at nationalists and republican. The on-going harassment of the republican and nationalist communities in Newry is now under investigation by a number of independent human rights organisations.
“I would encourage all those concerned about Stephen Murney to join the ongoing protests calling for his release and also to write to Stephen in Maghaberry.”
Stephen Murney can be written to at:
Roe House 4,
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