6 March 1997 Edition

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No charges decision slammed

IN AN UNSURPRISING AND PREDICABLE DECISION the RUC has informed an Armagh youth that none of the RUC members involved in an incident last year, when he was run over and seriously wounded by an RUC jeep, will be prosecuted.

The family of the youth Martin Connolly say they are disgusted by the decision.

Connolly was informed in a letter from the RUC on Tuesday 4 March that no criminal charges would be brought against the RUC regarding the incident on 11 July 1996 in the aftermath of the RUC decision to force an Orange march through Portadown's Garvaghy Road.

Dessie Connolly, Martin's father, told us that he was not surprised by the RUC decision. ``Sure there is no justice here,'' he said, while Martin himself stressed that he was not disappointed, ``because there is no way they would investigate themselves or put charges against themselves''.

Martin Connolly was on Ogle Street in Armagh City on the 11th night last year when three RUC landrovers towards a crowd of young people, the third rammed into Connolly who was dragged along under the vehicle. The youth suffered serious injuries to his chest and abdomen and spent weeks on a life support machine; he still attends hospital for check ups.

Sinn Fein representative Stephen McCleary who also spoke to AP/RN criticised the DPP decision, ``at the time we got local people who were first hand witnesses to the incident to come forward and despite their, and our own, reservations give statements to the ICPC. We suspected the investigation and we were proved right''.

``I would like to thank everyone who helped us and reassure them that we will not let this case rest. We will be pushing for a full independent inquiry'', concluded McCleary.

An Phoblacht
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