Irish Republican News · February 8, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sinn Fein man pressured by MI5

A young south Down couple are being harassed by British military intelligence (MI5) after refusing to spy on a dissident republican from Newry.

A Sinn Fein member who wanted to remain anonymous said the couple had to flee their home in January after an elaborate hoax bomb was left outside their house.

He said the bomb alert was the latest incident of harassment and intimidation aimed at the couple after they refused to supply information to MI5.

The PSNI confirmed they are investigating the incident in which a suspicious object was found outside a house in the Edenderry area of Banbridge on January 26.

The Newry Sinn Fein member claimed the couple were approached by MI5 after unknowingly being photographed with him.

“This young man was photographed with me by Special Branch,” he told the local newspaper, the Newry Democrat.

“When he went on holiday last year he was pulled in at the airport by MI5. They said to him that he was very close to me. When he denied it they told him that they had photographic evidence.

“They then asked him if he would be willing to work with them. They offered him money and said they would leave him alone if he did, if not they said they would make his life hell. They said if he gave me up to them in any shape or form that they would be happy.

“He refused and now they have stepped up their campaign of harassment against him.

“I believe, and the young man that has been targeted believes, that Special Branch will approach again hoping that he can give them information on Republican Sinn Fein in Newry.”

The 35-year-old man also claimed he has been subjected to harassment over the last 24 months.

And he criticised Sinn Fein for its recent moves to devolve policing powers from London to Belfast.

“This has happened in the backdrop of all that is happening with regard to policing in justice,” he added.

“The Provisionals seem to be bending over backwards to get this yet they will have no power in what MI5 and Special Branch does.”

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© 2010 Irish Republican News