[Sinn Fein]

5th April 2000

O'Hagan hits out at RUC

Sinn Fein Upper Bann Assembly member Dara O'Hagan has hit out at the RUC after they informed her that she was being targeted by loyalist death squads but refused to elaborate on the details.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

``I was contacted by the RUC this afternoon and was told that I was being targeted by loyalists. When I asked the RUC for further details they refused to divulge any more information.

``The RUC's refusal to divulge any information follows a well set pattern. Nationalists in the Upper Bann area have for many years been victims of collusion between loyalist death squads and the RUC. The RUC supply their intelligence information to loyalists and then notify nationalists that they are in danger but refuse to go into detail and quite often stand in the way of nationalists getting the protection that they are entitled to.

``I myself have twice applied on security grounds toe admitted to the Key Persons Protection Scheme but like others, some of whom have since been killed, was denied access. It is well known that the RUC have a large input into deciding who is admitted to the scheme.

``Loyaists have been particularly active in this area recently and are, at the present time, involved in a feud. History shows us that when loyalists are feuding they often launch attacks against Catholics in order to unite themselves. The RUC seem only too eager to facilitate this process.''

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