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25 October 2001 Edition

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Derryhirk payout

Sinn Féin Assembly member Dara O'Hagan said the massive payments made this week to customers of the Derryhirk Inn in relation to an RUC attack on the bar in 1997 proves that the decision not to prosecute or discipline those RUC officers involved is a ridiculous outcome.

"The courts continue to pay out compensation to victims of the RUC operation in which shots were fired at staff and customers, yet none of the officers involved have been disciplined and none will face prosecution," said O'Hagan.

"It is also a serious cause of concern is that none of the RUC officers involved will be barred from joining the alleged new police service nor will they have to take a Human Rights Oath before entering the service.

"This case proves the complete inadequacies of the Policing Bill and shows that we all deserve better than the half loaf that has been presented and unfortunately prematurely accepted by some parties."

Paul and Mary Fearnon, who feared a sectarian massacre when undercover RUC officers burst into the Derryhirk Inn in Lurgan in September 1997, have been awarded over £39,000.

The couple were having a meal when they heard shots outside and the lights were extinguished. When an armed man entered the dinning area, they hid under the table, fearing the worst. The gunman, who was wearing dark clothes and a baseball hat, picked Paul Fearnon out and made him kneel with his hands behind his head. Staff and customers only realised the gunman was not a loyalist when uniformed RUC officers arrived at the scene.

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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