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04/08/2003

Sinn Fein hit out at allegations against Mag Uidhir

Sinn Fein have hit out at allegations that the editor of a leading north Belfast newspaper has been colluding with British intelligence.

West Tyrone MP and party vice president, Pat Doherty claimed the allegations against North Belfast News editor Sean Mag Uidhir, which were revealed in a Sunday newspaper, were the work of British spin doctors aimed "at damaging the republican constituency and undermining the peace process".

"These allegations come from the same people who killed Pat Finucane, who armed the Loyalist death squads, who continue to target ands gather intelligence, who at the most sensitive points in the peace in the peace process maliciously brief and leak misinformation to create crises and bolter anti-agreement elements," he added.

According to yesterday's reports, Mr Mag Uidhir, a former republican prisoner, has allegedly been passing on republican paramilitary secrets to British intelligence.

The information was said to have come from the former agent known as Kevin Fulton.

However, Mr Mag Uidhir denied the allegations saying they were "rubbish…unfounded and untrue".

Mr Mag Uidhir is the second man to be named in Sunday newspapers as being a paid member of the security forces despite being highly attached to republicanism.

In May, west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci strenously denied accusations of being the informer, codenamed Stakeknife.

Mr Scappaticci was alleged to have been a senior figure in the IRA in Belfast for several decades and the leader of its infamous "nutting squad".

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