PSNI: raiding Derry homes

The homes belonging to relatives of four IRA members killed during the Troubles have been raided by the PSNI in Derry during the past three weeks.

Republicans claimed some members of one raiding party were British soldiers dressed as PSNI officers. Last month, it was disclosed that a special British military intelligence unit had been deployed in Derry to counter the rise of dissident republicanism. Its apparent deployment is a step backwards following attempts to normalise security in the North.

The homes of sons of two IRA men killed by their own bomb were raided on the anniversary of their fathers' deaths. Paddy Deery and Eddie McSheffrey died when the bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely in October 1987. Gavin Deery said that several of those who raided his home had English accents. When he asked them to complete a form detailing the raid, they signed it "military personnel", he said.

The home of a grand-daughter of Patsy Duffy, an IRA member shot dead by the SAS in 1978, was also raided. The homes of a brother and nephew of IRA member George McBrearty, shot dead by the SAS in 1981, were also raided.

A flat belonging to Mc­Brearty's brother Danny was searched by police. The home of McBrearty's nephew, Steven Ramsay, was searched. Ramsay was arrested and questioned by detectives about a log he had of police vehicles which had stopped outside his house.

Ramsay said he had been advised to do this by the police ombudsman's office after he had complained of police harassment and officers shining torches into his home at night.