Irish republicans challenge sinister ‘debanking’ strategy

‘We will have your house; if you keep going, we will have your car, we will have your kids, we will have your benefits and we will put you in jail.’

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The phenomena of ‘de-banking’ is an arms-length, extra-legal but extremely draconian punishment that is being increasingly used to target political activists in such a way that they never get to find out exactly what they are accused of or to defend themselves and their rights in a court of law.

This article is reproduced from Republican News with thanks.


Saoradh’s national chairperson Stephen Murney and his family are the latest republicans to have their bank accounts frozen at the apparent behest of the British state.

Mr Murney and his partner Cliodhna McCool, who hold separate current accounts with Nationwide, were both notified on 19 July that access to their accounts was restricted.

This is the third time Cliodhna has had a bank account frozen, and the first time Stephen’s account has been targeted.

Upon realising their accounts were frozen, both party members visited their local Nationwide branch in Newry and met with the manager, who admitted that he was “baffled” by the whole episode, but could offer no further information.

In a further twist, Nationwide went on to freeze the bank accounts of their 17-year-old son. The teen “is completely non-political and is clearly being punished by the occupier because of his father’s legitimate political beliefs”, Saoradh said.

The Murney family have contacted their legal representatives with a view to initiating a legal challenge.

Another republican in Derry had his account closed without reason and without any further information. A total of six republicans and their family members have had accounts frozen or closed in the past three weeks.

“It must be noted that when Nigel Farage had his bank account closed for ‘political reasons’, it received national and international media coverage,” Saoradh said.

“It seems that Irish republicans are fair game for economic punishment, given the fact that there seems to be a media blackout when half a dozen Republican families are targeted in a similar fashion.

“Not only are the media silent on this obscene act of oppression, but local politicians have not uttered a single word of concern.”

Party representative Dee Fennell added: “Here we have a situation where a couple with five children are left with no access to their money in order to feed and clothe those children and also to pay their bills.

“Once again, we bear witness to the weaponising of institutions in order to attack republican families. This is a vindictive ploy by MI5/PSNI that is designed to put entire families under stress and pressure due to their political views.”

He continued: “Nationwide bank is complicit in the MI5 and Crown Force targeting of working-class people by freezing their accounts and restricting access to meagre benefits and wages at the behest of the sinister British intelligence agency and British Crown Forces.

“English commander of the occupation forces Simon Byrne has previously stated: ‘You carry on doing this, we will have your house; if you keep going, we will have your car, we will have your kids, we will have your benefits and we will put you in jail.’

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