Republican News · Thursday 13 January 1999

[An Phoblacht]

RUC step up informer drive

By Pádraig MacDabhaid

The RUC is mounting a major drive to blackmail local people and recruit informers in Tyrone, according to Omagh Sinn Féin councillor Terence Brogan.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, Brogan accused the RUC of a widespread campaign of ``approaches to people in Gortin, Carrickmore, Omagh and Beragh during the past couple of months''.

Brogan said that both plain-clothes and uniformed RUC personnel have been involved but singled out one particular RUC member, who he says is at the forefront of such harassment in Carrickmore: ``He is Special Branch and is targeting local people in order to compromise them.

``One day they may engage in a charm offensive and the next day they may offer people amnesty for various offences in return for information,'' said Brogan. ``Several young people are living through a nightmare, being regularly followed, pulled in, and asked to keep an eye on named republicans. Others are being asked to provide information in exchange for being allowed to proceed with car defects. In one case, the RUC is targeting a single mother who they know is in considerable debt.''

The RUC will try to set up meetings with people to ``discuss'' the dropping of charges. Their favoured meeting places are behind the Bank of Ireland in Campsie, Omagh, the Lovers Retreat in Omagh, and Drum Manor Forest Park in Cookstown.

Brogan also says that the RUC is involved in phone tapping, as they have repeated details of telephone conversations between local people, a matter he intends to raise with British Telecom.

The Omagh Sinn Féin representative has advised anyone who has found themselves in such a situation to come forward and report the incident to a local elected representative or solicitor.

Sinn Féin Assembly member for the area, Barry McElduff, says that ``this campaign to recruit informers and terrorise people is taking place while certain sections of the media are attempting to demonise the people of Carrickmore over their objections to Monsignor Denis Faul's work in forming a liaison committee between the RUC and some local people masquerading as community representatives.

``This campaign to recruit informers shows that the RUC is still at war with the nationalist community.''

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