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21 January 1999 Edition

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Vindictive RUC raid

By Laura Friel

Vindictive vandalism, is how Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McGirr described a raid by the RUC which has left an Armagh man's new home uninhabitable.

Bathroom and kitchen facilities were smashed leaving burst water pipes to flood the property. The fireplace was ripped out in what can only be described as a frenzied attack. ``It is clear from the nature of the damage that the RUC were not searching for anything, they were merely intent on rendering the property uninhabitable,'' said McGirr.

The RUC actions followed the allocation of the house by the Housing Executive to a locally know Sinn Fein election worker, Jim McSorley. McSorley described the raid as the ``RUC's idea of a house warming party''.

The RUC denied responsibility for the damage, claiming that property had been vandalised before their arrival on Tuesday morning. ``This is nonsense,'' said the local Sinn Fein councillor, ``there is currently a refurbishment scheme in the area and workmen at the scene said the house had not been vandalised prior to the arrival of the RUC.''

A neighbour who had been disturbed by the sound of hammering next door was told to ``mind his own business'' by an RUC officer when he approached the house during the raid.

A complaint has been lodged with a solicitor and photographic evidence and witness accounts of the RUC's actions are to be presented to the Patten Commission, said Councillor McGirr. ``Once again the RUC have illustrated by their actions their total contempt for the nationalist community. The RUC is an unacceptable sectarian force and must be disbanded.''
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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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