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7 May 1998 Edition

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A judge in Belfast Crown Court freed RUC officer Allen McQuade on a 12 month suspended sentence saying his long RUC service saved him from a prison sentence.

The court heard how McQuade covered the tracks of an RUC sergeant after a drugs package ``vanished'' from Newtownabbey RUC barracks. The drugs had been handed in by a couple after it had been posted to their Co Antrim home under a bogus name in March 1997.

The RUC sergeant, whose name was withheld during the court case, took the drugs off McQuade telling him to ``say nothing more about it''. McQuade later claimed he knew nothing about the drugs when one of the couple called the barracks to see if anything had developed in the case.

The 20 year RUC veteran McQuade admitted obstructing other RUC members investigating the drugs disappearance from the Newtownabbey barracks. RUC killer Allen Moore who killed three people in Sinn Fein's Lower Falls office with an automatic shotgun in February 1992 was the subject of an inquiry in Newtownabbey barracks prior to the attack. Moore had been suspended from duty after firing shots from his personal issue revolver over the grave of a colleague. Despite this he was able to drive from Newtownabbey with the loaded shotgun

A serving member of the RIR, Hugh Dickson, from St Patrick's Barracks, Ballymena, was in Belfast Magistrates Court last week charged with possessing a Sterling sub-machine gun with intent to endanger life.

The RUC alleged that the weapon was found in Dickson's car on Monday evening, April 27, at a checkpoint on Belfast's Malone Road.

When charged, Dickson, claimed he was acting under duress.

The RIR, formerly the UDR, has had over a hundred of its members jailed for involvement in loyalist paramilitary activity including collusion with loyalist death squads and sectarian murders.

Better safe...

The Alliance Party leader John Alderdice recently said that ``just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you''. Republicans have known this for years as a recent incident involving one of our supporters in the South of England highlights.

He opened his front door one morning to find a brown paper parcel in his porch. It had no visible return address nor a postmark. So, using a stick, he pushed it into his garden and spent some time dowsing it with a hose.

When the package was suitably waterlogged he placed a metal bin lid over it and carefully cut it open only to find one very soggy stuffed owl inside.

A note with it informed him that he'd won 5th prize in a republican Easter raffle!

An Phoblacht
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