Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

5 February 1998 Edition

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Ardoyne raided while death squads roam

By Mick Naughton.

On Tuesday 20 January, against a background of loyalist killers stalking the streets, the crown forces raided nationalist homes in Ardoyne.

The home of a Sinn Fein activist murdered by the UDA was raided and 16 year old Daniel arrested (for security reasons the families do not want surnames released).

Two other homes were raided at the same time and 17 year old Aidan was taken away. Another 16 year old, Brendan, was also raided although the youth was not home, having left for work earlier. His mother told An Phoblacht how shocked she and her family were after their ordeal.

``I first thought the RUC had apprehended loyalists in the street, but was totally shocked when they ran down the path and battered down the door. They put me and my family under `room arrest' refusing my request to see what they were searching through upstairs. They were up there for over 15 minutes and could have placed anything, a bug, camera or anything. It left us feeling our home was violated by these thugs. Once they realised Brendan had left for work they seemed intent on making the rest of us suffer for them not getting him. They left saying Brendan would be continually harassed until I agreed to work for them as an informer. It's despicable what they are getting away with.''

The RUC accused all three youths of riotous behaviour at a Sinn Fein youth protest for the release of prisoners in Ardoyne last November 20.

Local councillor Mick Conlon advised them to pursue a rigorous defence. ``This stinks and is an RUC attempt to deter young people. It really says it all that when a sustained murder campaign is being waged against nationalists, especially given the callous slaying last weekend in Ardoyne of Liam Conway, the RUC are pursuing Catholic teenagers over spurious charges.''

Brendan, accompanied by his solicitor, surrendered himself two days later. Before this the RUC told some of Brendan's friends, ``we'll get that other bastard and if we don't, the LVF will''.

The only evidence against the youths so far is statements from three notorious RUC members from Oldpark RUC barracks.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1