16 July 1998 Edition

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Drunken Branchmen assault republicans

Two members of Dublin Sinn Féin were verbally and physically abused by drunken members of the Garda Special Branch on the night of Saturday 11 July in a Dublin city centre bar.

A large group of Special Branch members were drinking in the bar after the first stage of the Tour de France.

When leaving the pub the Branchmen made straight for the two republicans, pouring a tirade of abuse at the Sinn Féin members, who showed great restraint under the circumstances. One of the republicans was struck a number of times by an older branchman, who was particularly vicious during the assault. All refused to show identification as onlookers in the pub viewed the whole spectacle in disbelief. Women in the company were also insulted by up to eight Gardaí. One of the branchmen challenged one of the republicans outside, and an attempt was made to force him out the pub's doors to an adjoining lane. ``These people have no interest in the peace process, and their vicious assaults show them as no better than the RUC,'' said one of the Sinn Féin members.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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