Police told: ‘Hand back election register’

A solicitor has demanded that an electoral register confiscated by the PSNI from an election worker for dissident republican Gary Donnelly in Derry should be returned by Monday afternoon or else judicial review proceedings will be issued.

Mr. Donnelly who is running in the local government elections as an independent candidate is a prominent member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and said that the register was taken during a search of the home of one of his election workers earlier this week.

Solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott said last night: “We have written to the Chief Constable demanding the return of the electoral register by Monday evening and if we do not receive it by then we will instigate judicial review proceedings.”

The independent candidate said: “This register was taken during a search of the home of one of my workers.

“This is a direct and the latest attempt by the PSNI/RUC to disrupt my election campaign.

“We are entitled to use the electoral register to assist in our canvass of the Creggan area where I am running.

“It seems that the PSNI do not believe in allowing the democratic process to be used and are intent on sabotaging my campaign.”

He added: “This is not an isolated incident since I have been campaigning.

“Only last week I was out myself delivering leaflets at 9.30 in the morning and I was followed by three patrol cars who stopped and questioned me about the election.

“We have been told by other politicians to allow the political process to work yet when we run in an election we are subjected to harassment and incidents like this.

“The taking of this register has severely hampered our efforts and this is surely what the intention was.

“There is nothing subversive or suspicious in an electoral register and I do not see how the PSNI/RUC can justify holding on to this document which is basically just a list of names and addresses.

“This is just another tactic by a discredited police force to try and undermine efforts of republicans to consolidate their support.”