[Sinn Fein]

9 November 1998

North Belfast homes visited by the RUC

Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has urged nationalists in the area to remain `highly vigilant' in light of visits by the RUC to a number of homes in Ardoyne warning people of a threat to their lives.

Mr Kelly said:

``The RUC visited a number of families in the Ardoyne area yesterday evening. They informed the people concerned that they should raise the level of their personal security as they alleged that they had received a phone call detailing threats on their lives.

Mr Kelly continued:

``In at least two of the cases the people involved had both attended the Patten commission meeting on Thursday night and publicly criticised the RUC and its activities. It is now a source of concern to us that the visit of the RUC a number of days later is linked to these people publicly calling for the force to be disbanded.

Mr Kelly concluded:

``Either a real threat does exist in North Belfast or the RUC is manipulating the fear of a whole community to stem further public criticism of their activities, as Chris Patten's ongoing commission into the future of ther RUC proceeds. In light of the past activities of the RUC and in particular their collusion with loyalist death squads, it will be difficult for nationalists to accept that the visits which took place yesterday evening are in any way driven by a concen for the well being of the individuals concerned. However, after the brutal murder of Brian Service and other attemtped loyalist atacks, all nationalists in North Belfast must be highly vigilant in the period ahead.''

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