éirígí activists gathered at the embassy in response to PSNI chief Hugh Orde’s announcement that members of the British Special Reconnaissance Regiment [SRR] were now active in Ireland. It is unclear how many covert British units were active in the Six Counties before the reinforcements were called in.
It is clear, however, that 5,000 regular British troops remain garrisoned in the North on an indefinite basis, to be deployed at will by the British government.
British claims that the SRR would be exclusively used for surveillance operations were met with widespread scepticism.
Closely aligned to the notorious SAS and the discredited 14th Intelligence Company, the SRR are well skilled in the practices of murder and collusion. In 2005, an SRR gang was caught red-handed by Iraqi police in Basra carrying a bomb in what appeared to be a classic covert British dirty tricks operation.
At today’s protest, dozens of party activists and supporters carried banners, flags and placards demanding an end to the presence of British death squads such as the SRR, and the entire British garrison in the occupied North.
Speaking at the event, éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said: “We have heard much over the last decade about the demilitarisation of society in the Six Counties. This process was never completed, and what we are seeing now is actually a remilitarisation by the British government of the situation in the Six Counties.
“We can only conclude from developments that the measure of demilitarisation which the British government conducted was purely tactical and variable depending on the perceived level of threat to its occupation here.
“Hugh Orde has taken it upon himself to invite to Ireland what can only be described as a British death squad. Today’s protest was about sending a message to Orde and to Gordon Browne, that éirígí will be actively opposing the deployment.”
“People in Ireland know what the consequences of deploying groups like the SRR are because they have seen it all before. The Black and Tans, the Force Research Unit and the SAS all played similar roles in an effort to shore up the British occupation.
“Their role, as determined by their political leadership in Downing Street, is to compliment and strengthen Britain’s stranglehold on Ireland. The British garrison in Ireland must be deconstructed, not re-enforced”.
“éirígí, through our Campaign for a British Withdrawal, will be hammering home the point that the British government and its armed forces are not welcome in Ireland, in whatever guise they come.”