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8 October 1998 Edition

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SF member admits he was informer

By Roisin MacGreevy

A member of Sinn Fein in Derry has come forward to the party and admitted to working for the RUC as an informer for nine years.

Although Tony Deeney, from the Rosemount area of the city, had been working for the RUC for nine years it was two years ago when his RUC handlers specifically asked him to join Sinn Fein to keep them updated on the peace process. He was told to listen at meetings to the attitudes of members of Sinn Fein towards the peace process and report back to them.

The RUC had asked Deeney to join the IRA when they first recruited him, but he refused.

Sinn Fein councillor Cathal Crumley accused the RUC of intensifying its war of attrition against the nationalist community in an attempt to subvert the peace process. ``The fact the RUC pressured this man into joining Sinn Fein during the development of the peace process clearly shows that this force is absolutely opposed to creating the conditions which will bring about the fundamental change which is required,'' he said.

Crumley urged anyone who has been targeted by the RUC to come forward immediately. ``I would also call for the immediate withdrawal of the RUC from nationalist areas pending its disbandment and replacement by an acceptable and accountable policing service''.

Deeney become an informer after he was arrested in relation to a domestic dispute. He agreed to give information on republicans and in return was paid thousands of pounds.

Deeney was given a contact number and told to phone it if he had any information. When he met with his handlers they would go for a drive. Deeney was paid around £10-20 a meeting.

When the RUC later got Deeney to join Sinn Fein they awarded him with a £1000 bonus.

While working for the RUC Deeney become ill, suffering with his nerves and soon after was prescribed Diazepam by his doctor.

On occasions when Deeney ran out of the drugs he claimed that the RUC would supply them for him.

Deeney's last Sinn Fein meeting was on Thursday 1 October. He was due to report to his handlers on Friday but instead went to Sinn Fein, saying he was under too much pressure and confessed.

He called upon others in the same situation to do the same, saying ``it's not worth it''.

 


In a separate case, 20-year-old Sean Paul McConnell from the Moyard/New Barnsley area of West Belfast was approached by two plainclothes RUC officers to act as an informer. The young man, who had been arrested after travelling in a stolen vehicle, was taken to Grosvenor RUC barracks in the early hours of Saturday 25 September. After a taped interview, the two RUC officers asked McConnell if he knew anything about ammunition. They suggested charges against him could be dropped if he acted as an informer. They also offered cash payments for information.

McConnell was given a piece of paper with the number 026007, a telephone number written backwards and told to contact `Pete'. After his release, McConnell immediately told his parents about the RUC recruitment attempt. The family contacted their local councillor and have lodged a complaint with their solicitor.

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