Colin Duffy arrested
Colin Duffy arrested

Prominent Lurgan republican Colin Duffy has been arrested by the PSNI police following a series of early morning raids across the North of Ireland.

PSNI teams in forensic suits have been searching Mr Duffys house in a private estate in Lurgan, County Armagh.

Two other men have also been arrested in Lurgan and Bellaghy, County Derry, in connection with the Real IRA attack on Massereene Army base last Saturday.

Local republican youths clashed with PSNI personnel deployed to the area.

Mr Duffy is a prominent republican in the area and has endured a lifetime of RUC/PSNI arrests and harassment.

Mr Duffy was released from prison in 1996 when a conviction for murder was quashed by the Appeal Court following three years of false imprisonment,

The prosecution case collapsed when it was revealled that their key witness, screened from view during the trial, was a loyalist gunrunner.

He was the most prominent client of human rights lawyer, Rosemary Nelson, who was assassinated in 1999 by a unionist death squad. The RUC/PSNI is widely believed to have colluded in the killing, currently the subject of a public inquiry.

The arrest of Mr Duffy is being viewed as part of a potential securocrat backlash against republican hardliners in the wake of last weeks attacks, in which two British soldiers and a PSNI man was killed.

A massive operation is currently underway by British forces in the north Armagh area. A total of six men have so far been arrested in the raids. and further disturbances are expected.

Meanwhile, the political group connected to the Real IRA has warned that if the conflict in Ireland is to end once and for all, so too must the illegal British claim to sovereignty over the Six Counties.


A statement on the 32-County Sovereignty Movement website said that the so called peace process had failed to openly address the central core issue of conflict, and was the reason for its failure now.

Attempts to cocoon the problem in a puppet British Assembly arguing along sectarian lines are doomed to failure.

From the outset of this process the British government have moved to defend their illegal sovereign claim to Irelands territory.

This was evident when they made it an absolute pre-condition that the entry fee into negotiations was the acceptance of a partitionist outcome.

Once republican leaders acquiesced to this British demand the republican project within that process was doomed.


Amid fears of a resurgence of political policing, former north Belfast priest Father Aidan Troy said yesterday that the possibility of dialogue with republicans must be explored.

What I was saying was, could an extra step be taken to prevent future loss of life? he said.

If a channel can be opened, then it has to be opened, not to say to them maybe you have a point. No, to say this is absolutely, unconditionally wrong.

I was asking from a point of view of a church response, was there any possibility of us saying to these people, there is absolutely no future in this and nobody wants it.

Fr Troy, who is now working in a parish in Paris, said it had crossed his mind that the killings in recent days were almost like what had gone on so often in the past.

There isnt going to be any appeasement in this approach but if it saves one other grieving family, and even if people were to pour scorn on me today, I dont mind that, he said.

But supposing we prevented one more policeman or policewoman being shot, one more soldier not being shot or one civilian being shot, then I think it is worth exploring it.

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© 2009 Irish Republican News