Belfast — US backer of IRA at large after raid at Belfast rally
American IRA supporter Martin Galvin escaped police after his illegal appearance at a rally set off a riot that left one person dead and 20 injured. Riot police fired plastic bullets Sunday into a large crowd outside the west Belfast headquarters of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, in attempting to arrest Mr. Galvin, an American who directs the US Northern Ireland Aid Committee. British authorities had banned him from entering Northern Ireland. Many local politicians, as well as journalists who covered the protest, were highly critical of the force used against a peaceful rally that included many women and children.
Sinn Fein organized the rally to mark the 13th anniversary of the introduction of internment without trial for suspected IRA members.