18 February 1999 Edition

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RUC pressurising businesses

Businesses in Keady, Armagh, are complaining that the RUC is trying to pressurise them into cooperating with them.

Sinn Fein Councillor Brian Cunningham has been contacted with a number of complaints from local business people about a new forum which the RUC claim to be setting up. The RUC have contacted businesses in the area to try and get them to participate in the new forum which they say is designed to inform them of how the RUC can help the local businesses.

However some business people in Keady, which is 98% nationalist, believe that the RUC are in effect blackmailing them, believing that if they do not participate they will have to endure harassment of themseves and their businesses by the crown forces.

The proprietor of Carna service station, a small business in the area, has said that he has lost trade due to the actions of the RUC and the British army who regularly intimidate customers by setting up checkpoints at his premises, stand in the doorway blocking customers from entering the premises, and drive through the service station's yard at high speed endangering the lives of customers.

Councillor Cunningham has asked other business people in the area to contact him so that he, as the local public representative can represent their concerns.

Condemning the RUC tactic as underhand he has called for ``a policing service that would have the support of this 98% nationalist town and this means the discredited sectarian RUC must be replaced''.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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