The arrest of Sinn Fein assembly member Francie Brolly in
connection with the 1972 Claudy bomb investigation has provoked
One of Sinn Fein's most prominent figures in the north west, Mr
Brolly gave up his council seat when he was elected to the
assembly for East Derry. A lifelong nationalist, Mr Brolly was
interned in 1971.
Mr Brolly, along with freelance GAA writer Seamus Mullan, both of
whom are from Dungiven, County Derry, were arrested at their
homes early yesterday by heavily armed PSNI members.
Two other people from Portglenone and Dungannon in County Tyrone
were also arrested.
All four are being held at Antrim police station where they are
Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness has described the
arrest of Francie Brolly as 'one of the most blatant examples of
political policing seen here in recent times'.
"As has become the norm with this type of political policing
selected media outlets were briefed about the identities of those
arrested," he said.
"Francie Brolly is an elected representative and a key
participant in the peace process. His arrest is completely
motivated by an anti-peace process and anti-Sinn Fein agenda
operating at the heart of the Special Branch.
"Sinn Fein are demanding the immediate release of Francie Brolly
and we will be raising this issue with both the British and Irish
In a surprising development last year, the British government was
accused of colluding with the Catholic church to prevent the
truth of the bombing from emerging. One of those accused of
being involved in the bomb attack was a Catholic priest, Fr James
Mr Brolly's wife Anne, while mayor of Limavady council, backed a
call for a public inquiry into the bombing which was also
supported by her husband.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said: "The man should be released
"In terms of all the progress made across the remit of the Good
Friday Agreement, there sill remains within the PSNI, that
hardcore of old Special Branch people who have a grudge and are
anti this peace process."