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6 June 1997 Edition

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RUC target community worker

A worried North Belfast community worker has supplied details to An Phoblacht of a sinister approach by RUC Special Branch agents operating out of Antrim Road RUC barracks. The man, who does not wish to be named, told how he was lured to the barracks after being told his personal details were in the hands of loyalist death squads.

``It was very devious,'' said the man who works in the New Lodge area. ``They contacted me to say they had more information some weeks after informing me my details were in loyalist hands. At that stage they refused to elaborate, but I thought I was getting somewhere when they contacted me last week.

I realise now I should have passed this on to my solicitor but they said it would only take a minute so I went up.

``Once they came in I knew it wasn't to tell me anything about my details. They suggested that I keep an eye on named individuals I would come into contact with in the area and supply information. I refused and demanded to be released, but they said they would be `in touch again'. I am trying to do something to help this community, the RUC appear intent in setting people up, either for targeting by loyalists or by their `special' agents. What a bunch of sickos.''

Meanwhile newly elected Sinn Féin councillor Francie Murray has told An Phoblacht that Special Branch officers in Lurgan offered a 27 year old man from the Taghnaven estate money to work for the RUC.
``The RUC were very up front about this,'' said Murray, ``they went to the man's door last week accompanied by uniformed RUC who questioned him about a fictional assault and tried to push their way into the man's house. He stopped them''.

At this point the uniformed RUC left and the plainclothes put it to the man that, ``there's plenty of money in it it for you if you work for us''.

According to Murray the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, pushed the door closed. He has since contacted his solicitor.

``People need to be aware that the RUC have a campaign to recruit informers here, they should be vigilant and contact a solicitor or Sinn Féin if they are approached,'' Murray.said.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1