[Sinn Fein]

6 August 1998

RUC Heightening Tension in Derry

Derry Sinn Fein Councillor Gearoid Ó hÉara has accused the RUC of trying to intimidate people attending last nights public meeting organised by the Bogside Residents Group in attempt to raise tension in the run up to Saturday's Apprentice Boys march in the City.

Councillor Ó hÉara said:

``A number of people attending a public meeting called by the Bogside Residents Group to explain the accommodation reached with the Apprentice Boys were stopped and searched on their way to the meeting at the Calgach Centre.

``Among those stopped, searched and interrogated were the Deputy Lord Mayor and Sinn Fein Councillor Lynn Fleming and the Chairperson of the Bogside Residents Group , Donnacha Mac Nialáis , two high profile people in this City and individuals whom the RUC could not claim to be unaware of their identities.

``This was nothing but a public display of sheer bigotry and attempted intimidation by those RUC personnel involved, in a deliberate attempt to heighten tension, in the run up to the Apprentice Boys March on Saturday.

``The RUC claim their justification for these actions, was a meeting in the Memorial Hall at the same time and were supposedly acting to avoid public disorder.

``Can they explain to the nationalist people of this City why there are no reports of similar action being taken against those attending the meeting in the Apprentice Boys Hall. ? Is this not a clear indication of the RUC's planned tactics for nationalists in Derry on Saturday.'' ENDS

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