AP front 1 - 2022

29 June 2000 Edition

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Sinister moves in the Short Strand

A resident from the Short Strand area of Belfast believes he inadvertently disturbed an undercover operation by the British Army.

Returning home in the early hours of Sunday morning, the resident saw a man digging in the front garden of a neighbour's home. The man, who was carrying a rucksack, was using a folding shovel of a type usually used by the British Army.

When challenged, the man claimed he was ``doing a bit of gardening''. He then threw the shovel at the resident before fleeing from the area on a bike. Local speculation believes the man was most probably an undercover British soldier securing or retrieving surveillance equipment.

Meanwhile, in what may have been collusion, an RUC officer who appeared as witness in a trial of a number of Short Strand people admitted in court that, in direct violation of RUC regulations, he kept his own notebook containing the names and details of individuals. A file has been sent to the DPP.

Fears heightened after gun find

The fears of nationalist residents in North Belfast have been heightened after a man was charged, on Wednesday 28 June, with possessing a sub machine gun and 1,500 rounds of ammunition.

The man, John Lendrun, was arrested on Monday evening, 26 June, at Halliday's Road in North Belfast, near the loyalist Tigers Bay.

In the past week, the area around the Halliday's Road/Limestone Road junction has been tense. After the UDA issued its threat to nationalists last Tuesday, 20 June, local UDA members draped a UFF flag on the gable of a derelict house at the end of Halliday's Road.

The houses on the other side are Catholic and across the road is Parkside, a small Catholic enclave.

In past years there have been constant attacks on Catholics living in the area and as recently as last week, cars belonging to Catholic residents were attacked, their windscreens smashed in.

In one case, a woman driving along Limestone Road had the windows of her car bricked, almost causing her to lose control.

Residents believe the UDA is behind the planning of the campaign of intimidation against them. The news that a gun and ammunition was found at this main flashpoint corner has added to their fears for the marching season.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1