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10 April 1997 Edition

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£100 bribe to inform

A CRAIGAVON MAN WHO received an anonymous letter with £100 in £10 notes says the money came from the RUC who are attempting to recruit him as an informer.

26 year old Gerard Weir told An Phoblacht that he got the money in the post on Holy Thursday and in the accompanying note the writer said, ``this should keep the brew (sic) off your back''.

Weir said the writer was referring to trouble he had had a couple of years ago with the DSS, who took him to court. He claimed that the RUC man who investigated that case is behind the recruitment attempt.

``This particular peeler (whom he named) investigated the case for the dole and in the past year he has approached me three times,'' he said. ``Once he just offered me a lift, then the second time he followed me in his car through Meadowbank (an estate in Craigavon)''.

The third time the RUC man stopped Weir was about eight weeks ago when he advised him to keep out of trouble.

Nothing happened until the money arrived in the post. According to the note the RUC man said he was sorry he ``could not talk to you yesterday''. Weir said that on the previous day he was watched as he left a nearby bookies to go home and maintains it was the peeler tailing him.

An Phoblacht has been told that this same RUC man attempted to drag a young man into a car in Taghnevin estate a couple of years ago. The RUC had been following the young man and it was clear they were attempting to force him to work as an informer.

Sinn Fein Upper Bann candidate Bernadette O'Hagan has accused the RUC of being ``involved in a concerted effort to recruit informers and of using coercion against a number of young people in the area in the past couple of months''. Anyone approached by the RUC should come forward to Sinn Fein or their solicitor, she said.

 


Meanwhile a Lurgan taxi driver who is the target of a `stop on sight' campaign of harassment by the crown forces was at the centre of another incident when the RUC broke their way into his home and put a gun to his head. According to the man, who doesn't want his name used, ``the RUC came to my house a couple of weeks ago to tell me that my life is in danger because of a loyalist threat but they smashed their way in here to tell me that and put a gun to my head. I will lodge a complaint with my solicitor to make sure this harassment is recorded''.
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An Phoblacht
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