BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: N Ireland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 8 November, 2002, 15:58 GMT
Stormont civil servant is released
Stormont in Belfast
Stormont devolution suspended amid spying allegations
A civil servant arrested by police investigating IRA intelligence gathering at Stormont has been released without charge, the police have said.

The arrested man had access to the Stormont offices of former first minister David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist Party leader, and SDLP leader Mark Durkan, the former deputy first minister.

Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive was suspended on 14 October amid allegations of IRA spying within the Northern Ireland Office.

Reacting to the news, Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said the man's release from police custody confirmed his party's view that there was a witch hunt against Catholics working in the civil service.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly
Gerry Kelly: "The effect of this arrest has made him a target"

"Sinn Fein argued that the arrest was part of a wider anti-peace process agenda being operated by the special branch," he said.

"We argued that it seemed that a McCarthy-type witch hunt was under way against Catholics in the civil service who lived in working class nationalist areas.

"Today's development would appear to confirm this.

"The effect of this arrest could potentially damage this young man's career and has clearly made him a target and put his life in jeopardy."

The former deputy first minister, Mark Durkan, said the release vindicated his warning for people not to rush to judgement.

He said those who have been involved in intelligence gathering must also realise that their actions have left many decent Catholics working in the civil service under suspicion.

Four people, including Denis Donaldson, head of Sinn Fein's administration at the Northern Ireland Assembly, were charged last month after police seized documents in raids on republican homes.

Find out more about the latest moves in the Northern Ireland peace process

Devolution crisis

Analysis

Background

SPECIAL REPORT: IRA

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

08 Nov 02 | N Ireland
08 Nov 02 | N Ireland
07 Nov 02 | N Ireland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more N Ireland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes