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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 18:16 GMT
Warders still concerned at breach
Stormont
Arrests followed raid at Stormont offices
IRA spies still have access to sensitive information on prison officers, it has been claimed.

Prison staff said they believed the IRA was continuing to have access to security documents at the headquarters of the Prison Service.

This is despite a major police investigation which followed the seizure of computers and disks during raids on Stormont and at homes in west Belfast last October.

The names, addresses and workplaces of 1,426 prison officers were found during the raids.

The controversy surrounding alleged spying at Stormont led to the collapse of power-sharing and the government's decision to suspend Northern Ireland's political institutions on 14 October 2002.

There must be a full independent investigation into how the Northern Ireland Office stores our names and details and I want recommendations

Finlay Spratt
Prison Officers' Association
Police raided Sinn Fein's offices at Parliament Buildings 10 days earlier and four people, including a senior Sinn Fein official were charged in connection with the operation.

Prison Officers Association spokesman Finlay Spratt said at the time that the theft could only have been carried out by a republican working undercover at Dundonald House, Stormont.

He has now called for a full independent inquiry into the ways in which warders' details are kept.

"It has to be somebody on the inside with access to our computers and information that stole this.

Leak

"All the staff are telling me that and our concern is they are still there."

Mr Spratt said his members were adamant that the leak came from inside.

"There must be a full independent investigation into how the Northern Ireland Office stores our names and details and I want recommendations," he said.

A Prison Service spokeswoman refused to comment on claims that an IRA spy may still have access to sensitive files.

"The Northern Ireland Prison Service is working with the police to identify the source of the information uncovered.

"Until we have full information from the police it's not sensible or helpful to speculate where the information came from or who might be held accountable," she said.

See also:

29 Jan 03 | N Ireland
09 Dec 02 | N Ireland
28 Nov 02 | N Ireland
20 Nov 02 | N Ireland
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