Tourists visiting a beauty hotspot on the North Antrim Coast were left terrified after they ran into a bungled policing operation at Murlough Bay on Sunday.
Up to 25 marked and unmarked PSNI vehicles plus countless heavily armed tactical support officers descended on the coastline in a failed attempt to prevent an annual Roger Casement commemoration from taking place. The commemoration to one of the 1916 Rising leaders has been operational for decades and is known locally simply as ‘Casement Sunday’.
International tourists mistook the PSNI’s TSG officers for Paramilitaries and had to be reassured of their safety by locals.
Glens Independent Councillor Padraig McShane slammed what he described as “A military show of strength from the PSNI.”
The Councillor asked;
“What is the PSNI attempting to achieve as they criminalise a small group of Republicans who, like Casement, which to preserve and revive the speaking and literature of the Irish language, enhance the prospects of a new and equal Ireland and commemorate Ireland’s patriot dead?
“The botched attempts to criminalise individuals on the basis of political philosophy can not be viewed in isolation but must be considered along with recent claims by the PSNI in the Glens area. Claims around ‘viable devices’ and ‘bombs’ in Ballycastle and Cushendun have proved to be little more than fabrications.
“Of all the fiction offered by the ‘new’ police, the fact is Rodger Casement remains the scourge of an Empire. A patriot gentleman, and humanitarian activist dead 100 years still has the ‘Tans heirs’ quaking in their boots. 20 land rovers and 50 paramilitary police, a helicopter, stop and search abuse marked the 100 year anniversary events.