‘[Republicans] should be aware that they and their families are being monitored and that British intelligence and the PSNI/RUC are using these devices to put people behind bars – Dee Fennell.
REPUBLICANS have claimed that “sophisticated” surveillance devices have been discovered in homes and cars across the North.
One ‘bug’ was said to have been discovered in a taxi when it was left in a garage in North Belfast. A former prisoner in Derry also said he found what he believes is a high-tech listening device in the bathroom of his home. It comes weeks after a Craigavon man claimed a mechanic working on his van discovered a tracking device. In recent months several high-profile republicans have been arrested amid claims that they were placed under close electronic observation by security forces. Surveillance evidence is also expected to feature strongly in some upcoming paramilatary trials. Last month former hunger-striker Gerard Hodgins claimed that advances in surveillance technology made the activities of republican paramilitary groups “exceedingly difficult”. Independent north Belfast election candidate Dee Fennell said he was recently approached by a local taxi driver after a mechanic found what he thinks is a listening device in an air conditioning vent of his car. It is believed the device, which was wired to the car battery, had been there for some time. Mr Fennell said the taxi driver, a former republican prisoner, was concerned by the development. “The person who found the bug is seeking legal advice to establish if this is an infringement on privacy. “[Republicans] should be aware that they and they and their families are being monitored and that British intelligence and the PSNI/RUC are using these devices to put people behind bars.” Meanwhile, a Derry man has criticised the security forces after claiming to have found a “sophisticated” listening device in the bathroom of his house near the Creggan estate. The 45-year-old, who lives wife his wife and four children said it was hidden behind a mirror in his bathroom and fell to the ground after he accidentally knocked against it. “It’s an invasion of privacy,” he said. “As a republican I am used to it, but I don’t expect people to be spying on my children.” A spokesman for the PSNI/RUC said they have “no knowledge” of the device.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.