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Doherty slams political harassment as Omagh Council Chair detained by PSNI/British army

12 January, 2005

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has accused the PSNI/ British Army of "blatant political harassment" following the detention of Omagh Council Chair Seán Clarke, Patrick O Hagan, (the son of Kathleen O Hagan who was murdered by the UVF through RUC collusion) and another man at a joint roadblock on the Carrickmore/ Creggan Road on Monday night.

He said,

"The three were stopped and harassed for around fifteen minutes as they were returning from our Party's Westminster Selection Convention in Carrickmore.

"While young Patrick O Hagan and the other man were subjected to a litany of petty questions and the car was thoroughly searched, the fact that they ignored Seán Clarke altogether shows that this was little more than a blatant exercise in political harassment.

"This latest incident follows on from extremely suspicious activity by crown forces around Seán Clarke's home on Christmas day.

"This present upsurge in crown force harassment of republicans coincides with a clearly defined strategy by securocrats and our political opponents to demonise Sinn Féin.

"Given the experience of past periods when such political climates were carefully fostered, I would urge all Sinn Féin members and republicans to be extremely vigilant in the days and weeks ahead." ENDS

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