Irish Republican News · August 27, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
‘Vindictive’ arrest of former porter

A former porter at the Stormont Assembly buildings, who had faced charges in connection with an alleged “IRA spy ring” that brought down the power sharing institutions, has been arrested in controversial circumstances.

William Mackessy was arrested in the Ligoniel area of north Belfast and taken to an interrogation centre.

It is understood he was questioned by detectives from the PSNI’s Special Branch about a murder in Belfast some 20 years ago.

Mr Mackessy, was one of three men charged following the notorious ‘Stormontgate’ raid at Sinn Féin offices at Stormont in October 2002.

Large numbers of PSNI police flooded the area in a high-profile media event which quickly collapsed the North’s troubled power-sharing executive.

The raid, seen as politically motivated by republicans, failed to yield any evidence and the “spy” charges against Mr Mackessy and others were eventually dropped.

Sinn Féin councillor Eoin O Broin hit out at the arrest of Mr Mackessy.

“The man has been the target for PSNI Special Branch operations over the past two years,” he said.

“It is harassment. It was a politically motivated arrest. The fact the individual was released without charge shows the flimsy nature of the arrest.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News