éirígí is organising a public protest in response to the recent redeployment of British Army ‘special forces’ to Ireland. The protest, at 2pm on Saturday, March 14, will take place outside of the British Embassy on Dublin’s Merrion Road.
On Friday last, Hugh Orde, the head of Britain’s paramilitary PSNI, revealed that members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment were now active in Ireland. While confirming the SRR presence in the Six Counties Orde simultaneously attempted to deny the significance of the ‘special forces’ deployment. His claims that the SSR would be exclusively used for surveillance operations were met with widespread scepticism.
Those with even the most basic knowledge of Irish history know the central role that such ‘special forces’ have played in suppressing Irish democracy. Ninety years ago both the Auxilaries and the ‘Black and Tans’ were deemed to be the ‘special forces’ of their day. With the establishment of the Six-County statelet these two notorious gangs were replaced with two new locally-recruited militia’s in the form of the ‘B Specials’ and the ‘C Specials’.
In more recent years it was the ‘special forces’ of the SAS, the FRU, 14th Intelligence and the DMSU that brought terror to the streets of Ireland.
Speaking in advance of Saturday’s protest éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said, “All right-thinking people should view the deployment of the SSR as a deeply worrying development. Irish history is littered with disastrous interventions by Britain’s so-called special forces. In the past the presence of such units has been closely followed by all manner of British dirty tricks and terror tactics. Unfortunately there is little evidence to suggest that this latest deployment will be any different.
“The fact that the SSR is a companion regiment to the notorious SAS will not be lost upon the Irish people. Nor will the fact that the SSR was at least partially-formed from the discredited 14th Intelligence Company which was itself one of the lead British Army units responsible for controlling the unionist death squads.
“For the many thousands of Irish citizens whose loved ones were murdered by Britain’s official and unofficial death squads Hugh Orde’s assertion that the work of the SSR will be limited to surveillance provides little comfort. If the role of the SSR is to be confined to gathering intelligence a number of questions have to be asked –
“Over recent days the British government and their allies in Ireland have attempted to portray the deployment of the SSR as necessary for peace in Ireland. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bringing yet another unit of Britain’s so-called special forces to Ireland is about as likely to bring peace to this country as petrol is likely to quench a fire. The only way the British Army can promote peace in Ireland is by withdrawing not only the SSR but also the other 5,000 combat troops that it has stationed here.
“On behalf of éirígí I would like to invite people to attend our protest on Saturday and send a clear message to the British government that their troops – special or otherwise – are not welcome in this country.”
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