Gary Donnelly: Police raid independent councillor’s house

The scene at the house of Colr. Gary Donnelly this morning as a police raid takes place.
The scene at the house of Colr. Gary Donnelly this morning as a police raid takes place.

A police raid is ongoing in Creggan this morning at the home of independent councillor Gary Donnelly, who was elected to the newly formed Derry City and Strabane District Council last year.

The raid began at the councillor’s Iniscarn Crescent home shortly before 9am.

A police spokesman has confirmed the search follows the incident at the wake of Peggy O’Hara last week when shots were fired over her coffin.

Josephine Canning, who works alongside Colr. Donnelly in the Creggan Community Collective said the community in Creggan were angry at the search.

She alleged that police at the scene had refused to allow access to the house to any of Donnelly’s family members, or to former councillor for the area Jim Clifford.

Colr. Donnelly’s mother, Letty said the raid was “extremely distressing” and she was greatly concerned for Gary - who she said had appeared at the door with a large red mark on his arm - and for her six year old grandson, Finton, who was in the house with his mother and father.

Colr. Donnelly’s grand-daughter, three year old Ella had been removed from the house earlier in a very distressed state and returned to her mother.

“Gary was visibly shaken when he came to the door,” Mrs Donnelly said. “He said they (the police) had broken a table and wrecked the kitchen.”

Neighbour Catherine Rush said: “What kind of a message is this giving out to the people who voted for Gary? It is telling us that we are still second class citizens.

“That the 1200 people who voted Gary to the top of the polls still don’t matter.”

A police spokesman said: “Detectives from the Serious Crime branch investigating shots fired in the Templegrove area on Wednesday. July 15 are conducting a search in the Creggan area.”