Sinn Féin Assembly member settles case
Francie Molloy, Sinn Féin Assembly Member for Mid Ulster, settled out of court this week for a four-figure sum following an incident in December 1996.
Molloy and his son Oliver were arrested on 26 December 1996 after they were stopped in Dungannon by the RUC. The case, dealt with by Jenny Peake of Sheridan & Leonard Solicitors of Belfast, was brought on the grounds of wrongful arrest and assault.
Molloy explained: ``Having collected my son in the town square, I was on my way home. I had noticed the RUC in the square and was aware that they had followed me around the town. As I was driving up Ann Street, they pulled us over. The RUC then proceeded to question me under the Emergency Powers Act but then asked whether I had been drinking. This was despite the fact that I am a teetotaller and was wearing a pioneer pin.
``The RUC were heavyhanded throughout and at one point there were three carloads of them there. I was forcibly arrested and dragged to a car. As he tried to speak to me, my son was also arrested. We were then detained for over two hours in Dungannon Barracks. Although both of us were charged with assault and disorderly behaviour, these charges were dropped some months later.
``This type of behaviour from the RUC was uncalled for and unwarranted. It was simple harassment. This is why the RUC have to be disbanded. They have for many years intimidated and harassed the nationalist and republican people of Tyrone and beyond. The RUC abuse their position and then charge people simply to cover their backs. This form of sectarian discrimination must cease. We need a police service which has the respect of the people. The RUC is not a police service and does not have that respect.''