On Tuesday 10th May a large crowd picketed Leinster House, the Irish Parliament, at short notice to protest the denial of civil rights to three irish Republicans by the Police Service of Northern Ireland who detained, arrested and charged them and by the judiciary who remanded them in custody, denying them bail.
The protesters at Leinster House chanted slogans such as “Free, free, the Dublin Three” and “End internment by remand”. A couple of songs were also sung: The Felons of Our Land” and “Take It Down From the Mast”.
The protest was organised by the Irish Prisoners’ Welfare Association and was attended by other Republicans and by members of the Dublin Anti-Internment Committee, as well as by family members of the three men from Dublin.
Shortly after they convened, most of the protesters were approached by the Gardaí Special Branch and had their names and addresses taken by them in what was a clear case of politically-motivated intimidation and abuse of the rights to hold political beliefs, to organise politically and to peacefully demonstrate. In fact, a similar harassment to that practiced by their brethren in the Six Counties.
Statement by IRPWA DEMANDS END TO POLITICAL POLICING
“On Thursday 5th May the 35th anniversary of the death of hunger striker Bobby Sands Republicans peacefully laid Republican Michael Barr to rest.
“After the funeral the PSNI arrested 15 IRPWA activists and released 12 of them with no charge after being held for a number of hours.
Three of those arrested were charged and refused bail for the sole reason of that they were from the 26 counties.
“Only a few short weeks after the Irish Government commemorated the 1916 rising we now have the situation were British courts in Ireland are locking up Irish citizens for no other reason that they live in the 26 counties.
“The IRPWA calls on the Irish Government to lobby for their immediate release and to make sure those responsible for this blatant abuse of power are held accountable for their actions.
We take this opportunity to remind you of the protest that takes place outside of Leinster House today at 6pm and call for all Republicans to support.
“We would also encourage everyone who is available tomorrow to attend the Belfast High courts at 9.30am and support the 3 men and their families.”