There are no charges brought yet, but two separate police arrests this morning are worth looking at as they have developed, or not as the case may be. While UTV notes firstly the double arrest in Bellaghy, and then the arrest in Armagh separately, the BBC puts both cases together in one report and notes the ‘dissident’ link to one of them. RTÉ has the interesting snippet, though, the arrest linked to a seizure of smuggled cigarettes, and ‘dissident’ republicans, in November has no political reaction, while the two arrests in Bellaghy have incurred the criticism of SF, who have already complained to the Police Ombudsman, although it’s not exactly clear what the complaint is based on..From the RTÉ report
Sinn Féin hit out at the arrest operation, and said a complaint had been lodged with the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.
Mid Ulster MLA Geraldine Dougan claimed officers continued to search the two men’s homes after the early morning arrests.
She added: ‘The attitude of the PSNI on the ground is reminiscent of the worst excesses of their disgraced predecessors in the RUC.’
It’s a long way from that to the co-operation with the police on the ground imagined by Peter Hain..
Update Sinn Féin statement on the arrests in Bellaghy