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Orde silence over O'Connor case continues

9 June, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy has said that the broad nationalist and republican community note the continuing silence by Hugh Orde over the case of missing Armagh man Gareth O'Connor.

Mr Murphy said:

" Since it emerged in court that Gareth O'Connor had a close relationship with the PSNI Special Branch and he was accused of setting up four Tyrone men for arrest Mr. Orde has made no comment on the case.

" This is in marked contrast to his previous position. At that time Mr Orde attempted to use the case to cause maximum political disruption by telling the Irish News that he believed that the IRA were involved in the case, this despite an earlier denial. What Mr Orde failed to tell the Irish News was that his organisation had a relationship with Mr O'Connor. In short he deliberately mislead the public.

" In court the PSNI sought and received a Public Interest Immunity Certificate to aid the suppression of this story. Hardly the actions of a transparent and accountable policing service. It is time for Hugh Orde to come clean and at the very least give the family of Mr O'Connor all of the information he has relating to this matter." ENDS

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