28 September 2000 Edition

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Youghal Sinn Fein Activist Harassed

A Youghal Sinn Féin activist has complained to the 26 Counties Minister for Justice and the Garda Complaints Board, following what he termed as ``blatant and unprovoked harrassment'' from the Gardaí.

The home of Michael O'Regan (pictured) was raided by members of the Garda Special Branch on Wednesday 20 September at 7:40 am.

The search was timed to cause maximum disruption to his family, as Michael had just left for work a short time beforehand and his wife Ber was preparing lunches for their four daughters who were sitll in bed. They would have been getting up for school, but were rudely interupted by a team of seven Garda and Special Branch personnel, entering the house with a search warrant.

The Gardaí removed the contents of several file boxes, folders and cases of Sinn Féin's and the local Republican Flute Band's literature, a computer, disks and several videos. The search continued for four hours and was described by local Sinn Fein Councillor, Martin Hallvian - who visited the home during the search - as a ``disgraceful invasion on the privacy of Michael, Ber and their children.

``During a time where a peace process exists,'' he said, ``it is unacceptable that the Gardaí should consider themselves exempt from that process''.

Michael stated to An Phoblacht that he believes ``there are still those who are intent on pursuing their own agendas''.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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