13 January 2005 Edition

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Omagh Chair detained by PSNI/British Army

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has accused the PSNI/ British Army of "blatant political harassment" following the detention of Omagh Council Chair Seán Clarke, Patrick O'Hagan, (the son of collusion victim Kathleen O'Hagan) and another man at a joint roadblock on the Carrickmore/Creggan Road on Monday night.

The three were stopped and harassed for around 15 minutes as they were returning from Sinn Féin's Westminster Selection Convention in Carrickmore.

"While young Patrick O'Hagan and the other man were subjected to a litany of petty questions and while the car was thoroughly searched, the fact that they ignored Seán Clarke altogether shows that this was little more than a blatant exercise in political harassment," said Doherty.

"This latest incident follows on from extremely suspicious activity by crown forces around Seán Clarke's home on Christmas Day.

"This present upsurge in harassment of republicans coincides with a clearly defined strategy by securocrats and our political opponents to demonise Sinn Féin."

Doherty urged that all Sinn Féin members and republicans should be extremely vigilant in the days and weeks ahead, given the experience of past periods when such political climates were carefully fostered.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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