19 May 2006

PSNI ‘seeks informers’

Daily Ireland

Co Tyrone men tell of attempts to recruit them amid warnings not to tell the media


A group of Co Tyrone men have claimed the PSNI tried to recruit them as informers.
The men, all from the Strabane area, went public after claiming the PSNI had been involved in a sustained attempt to recruit them as informers at different times over the last six months.
They said some of them had been warned not to reveal details of the recruitment attempts to the press.
Strabane republican Ben Brady said he was concerned that the PSNI would try to set him up or have him shot after members of the force approached him.
“I am being stopped every time I go out the door — four or five times a week. I think it is getting to the stage where they are going to set me up or I’m going to get shot.
“Look at that fellow in Ballynahinch [Steven Colwell]. They riddled him. When I’m on the road, they set up road blocks just for me and there is nothing to stop them opening up.
“I have been in jail for political offences and, if I’m found up a back road, nobody is going to give a damn.
“My solicitor has contacted the Police Ombudsman’s office. There are other people in this who are being asked to provide information about me as well as other things,” he said.
The Co Tyrone man said the PSNI had approached up to seven local men in recent months. Taxi driver Patrick Deehan from Sion Mills said two PSNI officers had tried to recruit him as an informer as he sat outside City of Derry Airport on Wednesday.
The healthcare worker said the PSNI had tried to blackmail him in recent months.
He also claimed PSNI members had warned him he would “end up like John Brady”, a jailed Tyrone republican who supporters believe was framed by the PSNI.
“I lifted a fare in Strabane and brought him to the airport. I now believe this man was a PSNI man. I didn’t know him but, when he got out of the car, two men I know to be PSNI men got into the car. I told them to get out and they asked me to run them into Eglinton village.
“I said no, that I wasn’t moving until they got out. They have tried to recruit me twice in the last six months and every time they try to blackmail me with something new.
“They have offered me cash and a car. I am getting married next month and earlier this week they threatened to tell my girlfriend that I have been seeing other women.
“I told them I didn’t care what they said. I wasn’t going to work for them. Then they said that, if I didn’t work for them, I was going to jail. I have a court case next month and they know this. They said they were going to keep coming back and that time was running out for me,” said Mr Deehan.
The Sion Mills man spoke of his fear for the future.
“At the start, I laughed at this but now it is serious. When the man I lifted in Strabane got out of the car, he paid me £25 [€37] for the taxi fare.
“The PSNI might have pictures of me taking the money and they could show it to other people and try to portray me as a tout. They said I could end up like John Brady and they could frame me if they wanted to.
“I am worried about this now and I want the PSNI off my back.”

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