Republican News · Thursday 19 November 1998

[An Phoblacht]

Harassment and arrests in Lurgan

Lurgan SF councillor John O'Dowd has accused the RUC of ``blatant harassment'' over its continual arrest and detention of people who took part in a `Nationalists Right To March' protest in Lurgan town centre two years ago.

The peaceful protest had highlighted the refusal to allow Nationalists in the town to march or hold any type of rally in Lurgan town centre.

O'Dowd said, ``seven people have been jailed for up to four days and others, who also took part in the protest, have been told that they'll be lifted when it suits the RUC.''

Meanwhile over 50 people took part in a peaceful protest outside Lurgan RUC barracks last Saturday to mark the 16th anniversary of the shooting dead of six unarmed Nationalists over a six week period in 1982 by an undercover RUC `Headquarters Mobile Support Units' (HMSUs) headed by the present RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan.

In calling for a reopening of an international inquiry, O'Dowd said: ``Ronnie Flanagan was directly in charge of the HMSUs that shot and killed six unarmed men in this area in 1982. Does anyone truly believe he wants the truth to come out about those cases?''

Following the six RUC murders the Stalker inquiry into the `shoot-to-kill' policy being operated by the RUC was launched but subsequently collapsed under the weight of a smear campaign directed at John Stalker.

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