A Derry Councillor has vowed to raise concerns over the deployment of British Army personnel to take part in house searches in Derry through the Policing Board.SDLP Derry City & Strabane District Councillor for the Galliagh area Brian Tierney said the Secretary of State would also be asked for an explanation about events in the estate on Wednesday.
The searches took place at bungalows in both Ederowen Park and Glendale Park for over several hours on Wednesday.
PSNI Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan on Wednesday evening said: “There were no arrests, however a number of items were taken away for forensic examination.”
Speaking about the army deployment, he added: “Due to the suspected presence of munitions or explosives, military specialists were deployed in support of police.
“The military used are specifically trained in this type of high risk search thus ensuring that such searches are conducted in as safe a manner as possible.”
Speaking just prior to Chf Insp. Callaghan’s statement, Colr. Tierney said he would now be contacting the SDLP’s representatives on the Policing Board to raise questions over why the army were involved.
Speaking in general terms, he said: “We believe that all dissident or Loyalist action does need to be investigated, but we do believe the PSNI need to be doing that as they are accountable.
“We feel the community needs answers. The PSNI are accountable to the Policing Board and we need to hold them to account on behalf of the community as elected representatives.”
Colr. Tierney added that it was important to note that the absence of dissident devices would mean there would have been no justification for such deployments.
Meanwhile, the deployment of the army has sparked outrage from some Republican quarters, with the Irish Republican Socialist Party spokesman Danny Morrison expressing anger at their involvement in the raids in the Galliagh area.
Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Dee Quigley also said he “disgusted” at what was taking place.
NWN: They haven't gone away at all. There has been a huge increase in terrorist republican activity in NI over recent times. Only last week, a full paramilitary parade complete with firing of rifles occurred in Londonderry.