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Charging of McAnespie and McGeough is scandalous – Ó Caoláin

12 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described as "scandalous" the charging of Vincent McAnespie and Gerry McGeough following their arrest on the day of the count in the Assembly elections.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The arrest of Vincent McAnespie and Gerry McGeough and their subsequent charging and court appearance has caused justifiable outrage among republicans throughout the border counties and beyond. These arrests came on the very day of the count in the Assembly elections. Both men have lived and travelled openly in the Six Counties for years, yet elements within the PSNI chose a time such as this to haul them before the courts.

"Vincent McAnespie is a highly respected member of the community in Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone. He is the father of six children and his wife is Monaghan Sinn Féin County Councillor Brenda McAnespie, a valued colleague of mine. Their home was raided and extensively searched by members of the PSNI on the evening of 8 March when Vincent was arrested. This has brought further distress to a family that has suffered the loss of Vincent's brother Aidan McAnespie who was murdered by a British Army sniper at Aughnacloy in 1988.

"The arrest of Gerry McGeough, a candidate in the Assembly elections, at the count centre, was equally outrageous. Like Vincent McAnespie, Gerry McGeough has lived openly in Co. Tyrone for years.

"Clearly these developments are indicative of the fact that the securocrats still exert a key influence in the PSNI. This is a prime example of the type of political policing that Sinn Féin is determined to bring to an end." ENDS

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