Following erroneous media reports carried in today’s Sunday Life (13th May 2018) Saoradh wish to clarify the status of an individual who this week appeared in court on a charge of possessing cocaine. It is important to stress that this individual is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Prior to this charge, the individual was involved in Republican and community projects in Belfast but he is not, and never has been, a member of Saoradh.
This person applied in September 2016 and was asked to temporarily withdraw his application due to organisational vetting procedures. He did so.
Following the conclusion of this vetting process, he was then invited to re-apply if he so wished.
The person concerned did so, however, withdrew his application, as is the prerogative of any applicant, before it was considered at Craobh (local branch) level. This was prior to the incident reported in the media that has resulted in allegations of drugs possession.
The false claims that he is/was a member of Saoradh are part of a State-directed campaign within the media that seeks to criminalise our organisation, and Republicanism in general. The fact that the journalist concerned made no effort to contact Saoradh ahead of submitting her article for publication, despite being well aware of how to do so in several ways, is no coincidence.
This is indicative of the bad journalistic practices that see misinformation and lies accepted as fact. Thankfully their motives are obvious to the vast majority of people within our communities, who have consistently rejected allegations that the Republican Movement is anything other than radical, revolutionary and working to achieve Irish Freedom.
Saoradh takes this opportunity to reiterate our opposition to the scourge of drugs in our communities.