22 February 2001 Edition

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Heavy RUC presence at commemoration

The heavy RUC presence during this year's Sean South and Fergal O'Hanlon commemoration at Altawalk, near Brookeborough in County Fermanagh was ``designed to intimidate and to disrupt the ceremony'', according to Sinn Féin councillor Brian McCaffrey, from Roslea.

This year's commemoration was held last Sunday and was addressed by Assembly member Michelle Gildernew, who has been selected as the Sinn Féin candidate for the forthcoming Westminster election.

Usually the commemoration is held at New Year, but due to the adverse weather conditions this year the ceremony was delayed.

According to McCaffrey, RUC patrols stopped and questioned many of those attending the ceremony. ``They had a presence on every approach road to the event and were intent on disrupting the day''.

In the past couple of weeks reports of harassment of nationalists in the Fermanagh area have increased. British paratroopers have had a particularly high profile on the ground with their increased patrolling. The British Army has also been accused of going over the border into County Monaghan.

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