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27 August 2009 Edition

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Incident recalls murder of Roseanne Mallon

ROSEANNE MALLON: Killed  in 1994 during a loyalist attack on the Mallon home

ROSEANNE MALLON: Killed in 1994 during a loyalist attack on the Mallon home

Belfast Based human rights organisation Relatives for Justice (RFJ) have hit out at the PSNI over the harassment of one of its directors Martin Mallon.
Mallon was stopped near the Ballygalwley roundabout, County Tyrone by the PSNI on Thursday 20 August. His car was searched and his mobile phone, personal diary, and paperwork relating to his business were seized.
Mallon’s 65 year-old passenger, Kevin Sherry, who suffers from a heart condition was also targeted by the PSNI as they tried to take his mobile phone.
 Despite Mallon remonstrating with the PSNI and explaining that Kevin Sherry needed his phone in order to contact his doctor or the hospital should his condition deteriorate the PSNI insisted on taking the sick man’s phone.
Before the PSNI took Sherry’s phone the men were able to make contact with Joint First Minister Martin McGuinness who immediately contacted the PSNI.
 It has since emerged that Kevin Sherry was admitted to Craigavon Hospital as a direct result of the stress he suffered during the incident.
 Relatives for Justice has been supporting the Mallon family throughout a number of landmark legal battles concerning a loyalist attack on the family home on 8 May 1994 which injured Mrs. Mallon and killed Martin Mallon’s 76 year-old aunt Rosanne Mallon.
 In the lead up to the attack Mallon was subjected to a campaign of harassment and threats by members of the RUC.
RUC Special Branch members, who are known to the family and RFJ, issued death threats three weeks before the attack in which they threatened to have Mallon’s wife killed.
 On this particular occasion Mallon was accosted on an isolated road and held for almost one hour by two armed members of Special Branch. During this detention two leading loyalists arrived, chatted with the armed Special Branch men, and then drove alongside Mallon’s parked car and threatened him and his wife. One of the loyalists was Billy Wright.
 At the time RFJ documented the incident with Amnesty International and a lawyer. Subsequent to the attack on the Mallon home and the killing of Roseanne a local farmer uncovered a covert unit of the British army secreted into a dug-out in a field overlooking the Mallon home. A number of surveillance cameras were also found.
 Through a series of legal actions in which the family sued the British MoD the Mallons won discovery of statements from a number of covert soldiers who stated that they had been there prior to and during the attack. In their statement they say that they transmitted live televised images via their cameras to a room at Mahon Barracks, Portadown, which was recorded.
They also say in their statements that prior to the attack they were ordered to ‘switch off’ their cameras and that on later observing the attack and reporting it were ordered ‘not to react’.
An inquest into Roseanne Mallon’s killing has yet to be held. However a reshuffle of the Coroner’s Service saw the case being referred to a High Court judge, Justice Weir, who recently requested that the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde provide him with material in police possession concerning the killing and the overall covert operation that witnessed the murder of Roseanne. Hugh Orde has refused to assist the Coroner and has indicated his willingness to use gagging orders in the form of ‘Public Interest Immunity’.
 RFJ maintains that the PSNI are carrying on the harassment that the RUC directed at the Mallon family to deter them from pursuing truth and justice about Roseanne’s killing:
“This form of political policing has no place within our society and must be condemned by everyone. This harassment is driven by the will of those in authority who fear the true extent of what occurred on 8 May 1994, and more importantly exactly who incited, organised and directed those who killed Roseanne Mallon, Their will is to seek to silence Mr. Mallon. These attempts will fail”.
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