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17 December 1998 Edition

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RUC special branch target nationalist

Gerry McHugh, SF assembly member for Fermanagh/South Tyrone and Dungannon Sinn Fein councillor Seamus Flanagan have slammed attempts to recruit a young Clogher nationalist as an informer.

The latest incident occurred on Monday 7 December when the young man was stopped by RUC special branch officers at a checkpoint established for the sole purpose of halting him on his way to work.

At the checkpoint the man was approached by a special branch officer whom he recognised from previous approaches. The officer told him that it was a long dark road to his workplace and he should be very careful `as anything could happen'. The young man refused to acknowledge the threats and when asked to furnish the police with information on local republicans he declined and drove off.

This is the seventh time that the same RUC special branch officer has approached this man.

Gerry McHugh said: ``This targeting of nationalists by the RUC only serves to further discredit the RUC and to reinforce the nationalist belief that the RUC is continuing in its role as the paramilitary wing of unionism''.

He added that this type of activity and intimidation of nationalists reinforces Sinn Fein's for the disbandment of the RUC as the only solution to the policing debate.

Mr McHugh appealed for nationalists in similar circumstances to come forward and speak to their local Sinn Fein councillor or their solicitor.
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