Northern Ireland news

Dissident republican group stages protest at Derry bank over accounts

A number of Saoradh members took part in the protest at a Santander branch in Derry.
Seamus McKinney

Dissident republican group Saoradh picketed the Derry branch of Santander yesterday claiming the bank had closed some accounts at the behest of "British intelligence".

Staff at The Diamond branch activated security systems when a number of activists moved into the building.

Saoradh spokesman Paddy Gallagher claimed they were protesting because some bank accounts of activists and supporters had been closed.

He said he believed the alleged action was linked to a threat by PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne last year to stop benefits to dissident republicans.

Mr Gallagher alleged the move was a new tactic used to target Saoradh activists and their families.

“Santander, the bank with a motto of simple, personal and fair. What is fair about closing a bank account of families without giving them answers? Santander state they are working for the people but you've let the mask of capitalism show you care more about finance, business and control by foreign governments that standing up for a family,” Mr Gallagher said.

The PSNI said they were aware of the protest but had received no complaints.

Santander could not be contacted for comment last night.

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