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26 April 2001 Edition

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Kelly faces renewed threat

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly was visited by the RUC on Tuesday 24 April and told he is under threat from loyalists.

The Sinn Féin negotiator had only moved into the house a number of weeks ago.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Kelly raised questions as to how loyalists could have obtained information on him at his new address so promptly without ``some form of collusion with the RUC''.

Kelly also criticised the RUC over their refusal to give him any information on the nature of the threat or tell him which loyalist organisation issued it. He added that while the RUC were reluctant to divulge the nature of the attacks against him they were very quick to spend about £1 million in rehousing up to 30 RUC members whose names were in a diary stolen from an RUC vehicle last month.

``Of all the people I know of in the north of the city who were targeted, the NIO have yet to spend a penny to get them into secure housing or provide them with adequate security in their homes,'' he said. ``It shows the value the British place on nationalist lives.''

The threat against Kelly, an Assembly member for North Belfast, is the latest to be issued against nationalists throughout the North of the city since the start of the year. In Ardoyne alone, at least six nationalist families were attacked in both gun and bomb attacks within hours of the RUC warning people of loyalist threats. Martin Meehan the Sinn Féin representative for South Antrim was targeted while two of his sons' houses were attacked by gunfire.

Kelly himself has been targeted on numerous occasions and a bug was found in a relative's house a number of years back.

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