PICKET ON BRITISH WARSHIP HMS MERSEY , WED 19th AUGUST ’09 : Brief report and photographs.
Between approximately thirty and forty Irish Republicans held a three-hour picket today , Wednesday 19th August 2009 , on John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin , at the presence of a British warship , the HMS Mersey , which is docked here until tomorrow .
The protestors , comprising members and supporters of Republican Sinn Féin Poblachtach and the 32csm, demanded from a member of the ships crew that they be allowed make a verbal protest to the Captain of the ship , a Lieutenant Commander Carl Wiseman, but were told that he was “unavailable” . Eight Special Branch operatives , some using cameras , were present throughout the 3-hour picket (as were six uniformed members of the State police) and , as usual , names and addresses of the protestors were taken. The Special Branch operatives maintained a vigil for the duration of the picket at the ship’s gangplank , ensuring that the protesting Republicans could not board the ship. The banners and flags carried and displayed by the protestors drew a continuous and loud level of support from passing motorists and from those on foot , with cheers and clenched-fist salutes the order of the day!
RSF and the 32csm and , indeed , all who took the time to attend this picket are to be congratulated for highlighting the fact that there will never be ‘normal relations’ between Britain and Ireland whilst Westminster continues to claim political and military jurisdiction over six Irish counties. And whether Captain Wiseman or his like are ‘available’ or not , that is the message that Irish Republicans will continue to deliver to both Westminster and Leinster House.