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11 June 1998 Edition

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Paras back in Derry

In a blatantly provocative move, the British Army deployed members of the Parachute Regiment in Derry last weekend.

Members of the regiment, which was responsible for the Bloody Sunday murders in the city, detained Sinn Féin election workers in the Ballyarnett area. The troops questioned the activists and searched their car. It was the only car stopped in the area.

Sinn Féin candidate Gerry O hEara said, ``This follows the pattern where elements within the British establishment are determined to create an atmosphere detrimental to the building of a lasting settlement. It is ironic that while we are constantly hearing demands for decommissioning from British and Unionist spokespersons, the largest military machine in Ireland, the British crown forces, are still intent on intimidation and harassment.

``If this peace process is to work then it is essential that immediate steps are taken to remove completely not only the Paras, but the British military presence in all its manifestations from our towns and countryside.''

There have several reports this week of crown force harassment of Sinn Féin election workers, including on Tuesday night, the detention of South Belfast candidate Sean Hayes who was held and questioned by an RIR patrol.''
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