27 March 1997 Edition

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Gun pointed at detainee

A Garda detective has been accused of pointing a revolver at a Sinn Féin anti-drugs activist who was arrested when his Clondalkin home was raided on Tuesday morning.

The home of Matt and Margaret Mullen in Rowlagh was raided by a squad of uniformed and plainclothes gardai at 9am on 25 March. The gardai claimed they were looking for firearms and ripped up floorboards during their intensive search. They then arrested Matt Mullen under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. They claimed that this was done on the basis of bullet key rings and republican posters that were in the house.

At Ronanstown Garda station events took a more sinister turn. Matt Mullen was interrogated for about nine hours. He has personal family experience of the scourge of drug abuse and is active in the Coalition of Communities Against Drugs (COCAD) and because of his Sinn Féin membership gardai made it clear that they wanted to present the anti-drugs group as a republican front and this was the purpose of his arrest.

Matt Mullen says that a garda whom he named pointed a revolver at him and said that if he pulled the trigger it would be ``in God's hands'' whether Matt was killed. They also threatened to arrest his wife and detain her for 48 hours. After 13 hours in custody Matt Mullen was released without charge.

Describing the Garda actions as ``reprehensible'' Dublin West Sinn Féin representative John McCann said this was ``yet another example of Garda time being spent victimising community activists while the leaders of the drug trade go unmolested''.

An Phoblacht
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