Parish priest asked to observe PSNI raid

By Evan Short

Sacred Heart Parish Priest Fr Martin Magill has confirmed he was asked to act as an observer during a PSNI house raid in Ardoyne before Christmas and was present in a house while searches were carried out.
The North Belfast News has learned that anti-agreement republicans contacted Fr Magill over their concerns at raids being carried out at a number of locations around Ardoyne and The Bone.
The PSNI carried out a number of searches in the run up to Christmas however no charges resulted from the operation and nothing was reported to have been found.
Fr Magill refused to be drawn on the details when contacted by the North Belfast News, but he confirmed he attended at least one of the searches.
“On Wednesday 17 December 2014, the PSNI conducted a search of a residential property within Sacred Heart Parish. I can confirm that I was present during part of the house search. It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment on this matter”.
A PSNI spokeswoman said they had carried out searches on that day in the Rosehead area under the Justice and Security Act.
Anti agreement republicans argue the raids are part of a campaign of harassment, a claim that is denied by the PSNI.

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