Republican News · Thursday 03 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Serial harasser threatens nationalists

RUC sergeant who has a reputation for harassing nationalists has recently attempted to coerce a father into informing on his own son.

On Tuesday, 25 July, the RUC man, based in Castlewellan in South Down, arrested the man for a traffic offence and brought him to Newcastle RUC barracks

While there, the RUC member told the man that his, (the man's) son, ``is a member of the IRA''. The RUC sergeant then warned the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, that his son was ``going to get into a lot of trouble if he does not stop''. It was at this point that the RUC man gave the man a blue card with the name of a `handler' on it and told to make contact if he had any information on his son.

Sinn Féin councillor for Castlewellan, Frank McDowell, accused this RUC sergeant of involvement in, ``a catalogue of sectarian harassment including stopping mothers bringing children to school. This man is also monitoring the every day activities of Sinn Féin members using surveillance equipment''.

Crossmaglen sangar goes, but it's not enough

Sinn Féin's Pat McNamee has described the removal of the British Army spy post from the Square in Crossmaglen as, ``only one small step in dealing with demilitarisation''.

McNamee was responding to the work, begun on Monday 31 July, by British Army engineers, to dismantle the post, which has dominated the main square of the South Armagh town since the mid-1970s.

The work is expected to last a week.

McNamee pointed out that there are a number of families living beside the base whose property has been seized by the British Army for a heli-pad and whose property was not to be handed back.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, Toni Caragher of the South Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee said the move was ``long overdue.

``It shouldn't have been there in the first place'', she said.

Meanwhile, Belfast Councillor Fra McCann is calling on the British Army to get off Divis Tower in West Belfast. ``The British Army spy post on top of Divis Tower has been a blight on the lives of the people living there for far too long,'' he said.

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