The socialist republican party éirígí are to hold a public meeting in Conway Mill, Belfast at 7pm on Thursday evening, November 8th, at which the party will formally launch an information and guidance leaflet aimed at advising people who have been or who may be subject to harassment by MI5.
Speaking ahead of the meeting and leaflet launch, éirígí spokesperson Padraic Mac Coitir said, “An increasing and disturbing trend has emerged in the Six Counties where undercover MI5 agents have been involved in numerous attempts to recruit various individuals to ‘work’ for them.
“It is clear that MI5 operatives, based at their headquarters in Palace Barracks, Hollywood, are engaged in a massive intelligence gathering trawl right across the Six Counties. It is also clear, from the cases reported to us, that they doing so in total collusion with the PSNI.
“Many of those targeted by MI5 and who contacted the party in recent months are not republicans, but are community workers, trade union activists and ordinary members of the public.”
Mac Coitir explained, “The circumstances in which people have been approached by MI5 vary from case to case.
“Cases that have been reported to the party include:
- Individuals being stopped at what appeared to be normal ‘run-of-the-mill’ PSNI traffic checkpoints. In these cases, PSNI personnel then stood aside as well-dressed civilians approached the person stopped, introduced themselves as ‘X’ or ‘Y’, and then proceeded to attempt to recruit the person stopped
- Telephone calls being made to people by individuals who have identified themselves using various pseudonyms such as ‘Ian’, ‘Mark’ ‘John’, etc. During these calls people have been asked to meet with MI5. Monetary incentives and jobs have been offered to people if they will assist them in gathering information
- Individuals being approached while travelling through airports on way to a family holiday or as a journey connected to their work
- Individuals being approached in person at their place of work
- Individuals being approached while shopping in town centres
“Incidents have been reported to the party from across each of the Six Counties and it is clear that the frequency of such incidents is increasing.”
Mac Coitir continued, “In response to this increased activity by MI5, éirígí is launching a comprehensive information leaflet advising people what to do if they find themselves approached by MI5. Earlier this year, the party published a ‘know your rights’ card detailing a person’s rights when stopped or questioned by the PSNI. That received a very positive response in our communities, and we believe that this initiative regarding MI5 will be equally responded to.”
The meeting in Conway Mill on November 8th will be addressed by éirígí’s Breandán Mac Cionnaith and Belfast solicitor Padraigin Drinan.
Mac Coitir also said that the party would also be showing a short video at the meeting on the activities of MI5.