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2 October 1997 Edition

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RUC try to recruit Lurgan man

LURGAN MAN PADDY QUINN has told An Phoblacht that a man in plainclothes claiming to be from British Intelligence offered him large sums on money if he would pass on information to him. And as Quinn travelled to the An Phoblacht office, he and three companions were stopped and held for 20 minutes by the RUC on Belfast's Kennedy Way.

"No other car was stopped at this checkpoint," said Quinn, "they just pulled us as we came off the motorway. They seemed to know we were coming".

The contact happened on Tuesday 30 September in Lurgan RUC barracks where Quinn had been brought and charged with motoring and theft charges.

According to Quinn, who is in his thirties, the RUC had been trailing his car for the past month - since he was stopped by a force of RUC in six cars and held for two hours near Ardboe in County Tyrone on 4 September. On Friday and Saturday 26 and 27 September, Quinn and a friend noticed a heavy presence of RUC everywhere they went.

Then on Tuesday the RUC followed Quinn and his friend, and stopped them in Lurgan town centre and searched his car before arresting him and bringing him to Lurgan Barracks. There, a detective from Portadown questioning him about motoring offences said, "I had a trace on your car for the past three weeks".

After being charged and prior to being released, this detective told Quinn, "someone else wants to see you".

"I waited for a while," said Quinn, "then a guy wearing jeans and trainers came over. He said he knew me and said a few things that indicated he had some knowledge about me". The man then told Quinn he worked for British Intelligence and could,"help you with money, not Mickey Mouse money".

The plainclothes man then told Quinn that he could meet him anywhere before trying to arrange a meeting in Lurgan barracks for 8pm on Wednesday 1 October.

"I was so scared when I got out, I went and told the priest," concluded Quinn. Quinn's friend, who accompanied him to our office, told us that when a solicitor phoned the barracks at about 3.30pm to enquire about him, the RUC said he had already been released. Quinn was in fact not released until almost threee hours later.

Sinn Féin Councillor John O'Dowd called on people to be aware that the RUC had not given up "the practice of trawling for informers. Anyone who is pressurised by these people should come forward immediately, see a solicitor, a priest or a Sinn Féin councillor and expose these people".


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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