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17 September 1998 Edition

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Vindictive RUC raids in Derry

The RUC carried out a series of house raids, described as ``vindictive'' by local Sinn Fein councillor Peter Anderson, in the nationalist Brandywell area in Derry on Thursday 10 September. The raids are believed to stem from an incident during the 8 August Apprentice Boys march, when an RUC man fired a number of live shots in the air after he was assaulted by a number of youths.

Anderson was contacted on the Thursday morning and told of the raids. The councillor also claims that following the raid the RUC left a copy of their search warrant that stated the operation was designed to retrieve an RUC man's hat. According to Anderson, ``in a vindictive twist the RUC then informed the Housing Executive that the house was unoccupied, despite knowing that a family lived there''.

The Housing Executive attempted to board up the house and were only halted when concerned neighbours intervened.

Anderson claims that as the elected representative for the Brandywell area he approached the RUC as they attempted to smash their way into a house whose owners were not present. He was then thrown from the house and told it was nothing to do with him.

Anderson said, ``during the raids the RUC destroyed property whilst physically and verbally assaulting other residents who tried to intervene.

``The violence and intimidation of nationalists during these house raids by the RUC is in direct contrast to the RUC's response to the ongoing loyalist violence in Portadown that has left nationalists on the Garvaghy Road under siege for the past two months.

``What nationalists in Derry witnessed this morning is the actions of a force which clearly relishes the opportunity to inflict as much damage as possible. Rather than deliver an impartial system of justice as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement the RUC has once again demonstrated exactly why we require the creation of a new policing service. I hope Chris Patten takes note of what happened in Derry.''

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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