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11 July 2002 Edition

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Spy camera protest

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, is pictured addressing an anti-spy post protest in Ardoyne on Tuesday 9 July.

Local people, angry at the siting of spy cameras at Estoril Park in the middle of Ardoyne, are accusing the RUC/PSNI of mounting an intelligence gathering operation. They argue that the cameras is intrusive and serves no purpose other than to spy on locals.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, nationalists immobilised the camera when they set a fire at its base, using tyres. In response, the Crown forces moved into the area at about 5.30am to repair the camera.

During the operation, they sealed the area off and forced families from their homes. While the RUC/PSNI said they had to clear the area due to a bomb alert, no device was discovered.

Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan accused the RUC/PSNI of using the pretext of a bomb scare to get people out of the way so that they could repair the damaged camera. A 13-year-old boy was arrested by the RUC/PSNI in Ardoyne as the operation to secure the camera was underway.
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