Catholic Schools Used as Recruiting Sergeant for British Crown Forces

Schools across the occupied six-counties are being used as a recruiting sergeant for the British Crown Forces. Below our comrades in Newry, Derry and Belfast have exposed and challenged these pro-imperialist exercises.

NEWRY

Saoradh An Iúir have received serious concerns from parents of St Joseph’s Boys High School in Newry regarding a recent visit to the school by armed members of the RUC. Among the concerns raised was the fact that no prior notification was given nor was any consent sought from parents.

One concerned parent, who’s also a party activist, told Saoradh An Iúir “For over 30 years myself and my family have suffered immensely at the hands of the British Crown Forces, including the RUC, and in more recent years the PSNI. My children have also endured abuse at their hands. To not even be notified or consulted that they would be visiting the school carrying firearms in the vicinity of my child is outrageous”

It is Saoradh’s view that school should be a neutral learning environment, a safe haven. Somewhere that our children should be able to go to learn and grow. Not a place where gunmen, some of which have stopped and searched the same children under anti terror laws, are free to be invited without consent or consideration.

Have these schools carried out a risk assessment under health and safety legislation regarding the risk of possible attack on the Crown Forces while in the schools and are the schools insured to have firearms on the premises ?

The RUC/PSNI that are in the schools are the same force that has recently been proven to have colluded in the Heights Bar massacre in Loughinisland and that the mass murderers responsible are still protected by this force who it is proven have the evidence to prosecute and convict them but fail to do so. This one incident rams home the reality of this colonial paramilitary force and its agenda regarding our community, they shouldn’t be next or near our children armed as they are.

A meeting has been arranged between a Saoradh representative, whose child is also a pupil, and the school principle to discuss this issue further.

 

DERRY

Saoradh Doire based at Junior McDaid House wish to again highlight the ongoing relationship between local schools and that of the Crown Forces.

Our revolutionary hub has been inundated with calls and messages from concerned parents regarding the appearance of State Forces at a local school recently.

Having previously taken it upon ourselves to notify St Cecilia’s College, by way of letter, to highlight the ongoing repressive nature of the un-reformable RUC/PSNI, they have continued to give this repressive regime a platform despite acknowledging our concerns.

We have seen too many times recently where children, some of which are still in school uniform, are being constantly harassed and intimidated by armed militia men.

Speaking on the issue, Saoradh Doire spokesman Patrick Gallagher said “With regards to the letter we previously sent to St Cecilia’s College, we had requested a meeting with the principal to voice not only our own concerns but the concerns of a huge number of parents with children of all ages at the school. However, it’s clear they haven’t taken onboard the noted concerns.”

Many of these school children see British Police as an oppressive force. They are subject to aggressive stop and searches either on their own or with family members. For them to see the same British force in their school is terrifying. It is of our opinion that schools shouldn’t be used a political tool in the ever changing political landscape.

Concerned parent and father of a pupil affected by British state gunmen, Kevin Brady told Saoradh “Yesterday (Wednesday 24th) my daughter was at school studying for her upcoming exams when these militia men attended her class for a PR stunt. She immediately left school once the British constabulary entered her classroom. Having previously notified the school on my position I found it extremely disappointing they allowed this to happen. My daughter is in sixth year studying for exams and the last thing she needs is to have to leave her education because of these armed thugs”

It is of our opinion that schools should be a neutral environment for children to flourish and learn, not to be used as political mechanism to adopt a broader acceptance of policing within the Six Counties.

Saoradh Doire call on all schools involved with this Colonial Paramilitary Force to rethink their position and the effect it is having on pupils at the school. We also urge any other parents with concerns regarding this issue to contact your local Saoradh representative or contact our office on 028 7127 1967.

Photos:Original letter sent by Saoradh and the response by St Cecilia’s College

 

BELFAST

Saoradh members in North Belfast have been contacted by angry and alarmed parents of children attending Mercy College, after pupils appeared on social media attending British Army recruitment stalls at a nearby school’s Careers Day.

In a status posted to Facebook, the young ladies are pictured being introduced to serving British soldiers as they seek to recruit working class youth to serve in Britain’s imperialist excursions across the globe.

This is particularly grotesque as Mercy College’s pupils are drawn from many families and communities who suffered the brunt of State Murder and Collusion, including the murder of local schoolchildren. This campaign of child killing and victim blaming was replicated across the Six Counties.

In addition, the British Army and MI5 have recently been guilty of ongoing assaults, raids and attacks on North Belfast residents on a regular basis. This includes a number of parents and siblings of Mercy College pupils.

Despite claims to the contrary, thousands of British soldiers remain here in the Six Counties, with an additional unknown number of MI5 operatives based at a £25million building in Palace Barracks.

Saoradh have advised these parents to contact Mercy College and demand that their children are not introduced to the British Army, nor used in public relations exercises that seek to normalise their ongoing occupation of Ireland. We will continue to support these parents and their children.

Any parents discovering or opposing their children attending similar events, or those involving other Crown Forces such as the PSNI, can contact Saoradh for advice via this Facebook page, any activist, via our Falls Road office by calling in Mon-Fri 11am-3pm or telephoning 02890 328644.