Republican News · Thursday 15 June 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Grandmother lashes RUC over raid

Grandmother Margaret McCaughey has blasted the RUC after her Belfast home was ransacked in a fruitless raid last week.

McCaughey was in her Glasvey Close home on Wednesday evening, 7 June, when the RUC smashed their way in as she and her husband watched television. As they turned the McCaughey home upside down, the RUC warned the couple to ``keep your mouths shut'', and told them they were looking for guns.

The RUC spent up to an hour in the house and when they left empty-handed said someone would be out the following day to assess the damage to the house.

So far, no one has come out, although McCaughey has phoned the RUC on several occasions.

Sinn Féin accuses British over helicopter chase

A South Armagh woman was left in a state of shock after she was chased by a low-flying British army helicopter last Tuesday, 6 June.

The incident has sparked renewed calls for the British to ground its helicopter fleet, some of which were taken out of service when they were found to be flying with faulty parts.

In the latest incident, the woman was driving along the Glassdrummand Road near Crossmaglen when the aircraft flew over her car. At one point the woman, who is in her forties, thought the helicopter was going to land in front of her car.

``It was so close to the car that I was terrified. The noise was frightening and scared the life out of me'', she said.

The terrified woman took refuge in a friend's house.

Both Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy and Toni Carragher of the South Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee have accused the British pilots of recklessness and are demanding that the British end all helicopter activity in the South Armagh area.

Religious discrimination costs NIO 40,000

Two Catholic women from County Antrim have been awarded damages of 20,000 each after the NIO admitted discriminating against them on religious grounds.

The women, who took their cases against the NIO separately, were supported by the Equality Commission. It has now been disclosed that the NIO settled the case in April.

The terms of the settlement include a formal apology for the distress and injury caused to the women. And the NIO has promised to review its procedures in conjunction with the commission and to uphold a neutral working environment.

``I just wanted to be treated the same as everyone else'', said one of the woman anonymously. ``The 20,000 can never compensate me for the loss of confidence and the loss of dignity.''

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