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Strabane Sinn Féin Council Chair target of PSNI spy attempt

28 September, 2004

Attempts by the PSNI to blackmail a man into spying on the Sinn Féin Chair of Strabane District Council, Jarlath Mc Nulty and two other individuals in the Clady area of County Tyrone have been exposed when the man refused to succumb to PSNI pressure and contacted Sinn Féin upon his release from custody at the weekend.

Cllr Jarlath Mc Nulty said:

"The Clady man was arrested for drink driving offences over the weekend and while in custody was approached by Special Branch officers who told him that the charges would disappear if he was prepared to spy on myself and two other named individuals in the Clady area.

"The man refused to succumb to this PSNI pressure and, upon his release from custody, he immediately contacted Sinn Féin about this attempted blackmail attempt.

"Those who tell us that we have got a new beginning to policing in the shape of the PSNI would need to take a reality check. Last Wednesday they were battering nationalist protesters in Omagh and a few days later they are attempting to exploit a person in a vulnerable position to spy on the democratically elected Chairperson of Strabane District Council and two other named individuals.

Speaking about the affair West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty said:

"This is further evidence of the control the securocrats have over policing and their attempts to undermine the work of Sinn Féin in this Peace Process.

"Combined with the recent discovery of bugging devices at the home of a member of Gerry Adams office staff and at Sinn Féin offices in Belfast, this is a further example of bad faith by the British government.

"I will be raising this issue directly with the Irish government and will also be demanding an explanation directly from the British government." ENDS

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