31 January 2002 Edition

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Republican involvement denied in Castlewellan incident

Sinn Féin's local councillors in the Castlewellan area Frank Mc Dowell and Willie Clark have denied any republican involvement in an incident in Castlewellan that led to a prominent member of the SDLP being hospitalised.

"After making enquiries in the locality we can state most categorically that there was no republican involvement in the incident that led to Patrick Clarke being hospitalised," they said.

The local councillors said they viewed Clarke's allegations as yet another effort by him to blacken republicans.

And Sinn Féin Councillor Michael Ruane has denied any republican involvement in an attack that caused substantial damage to the business premises of SDLP Assembly member PJ Bradley. "I naturally sympathise with Mr Bradley, given the damage to his office, but sincerely hope he doesn't try and made political capital out of what appears to be a highly personalised attack," said Ruane.
Ruane's local colleague, Assembly member Mick Murphy, appealed for those involved in such actions to stop now and get off the backs of local businesses.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1