IRA dissident abducted and beaten by gang

POLICE ON both sides of the Irish border are investigating an incident in which a republican critic of the IRA was abducted and held for some hours early yesterday.

Although there were fears that the man would be killed, he was released, badly bruised on the head and body, after eight hours in which he is assumed to have been in the hands of the IRA.

Last week a former IRA supergrass, Eamon Collins, was killed in a republican district of Newry, Co Down, which he had refused to leave, despite a campaign of threats and intimidation. It has not been established whether he was killed by the IRA or other republican elements.

The man abducted yesterday was Paddy Fox, a former IRA prisoner from Co Tyrone. At 3am he was surrounded by men in the car park of a hotel in Co Monaghan, on the southern side of the border, and dragged into a van. With the Collins murder fresh in everyone's mind, there were worries that Mr Fox would not be seen alive again.

Gardai in the Irish Republic and the RUC in the north launched a hunt for him, but around lunchtime he reportedly telephoned a relative to say he had been released. The incident is assumed to be another instance of IRA intimidation and "internal discipline".

Mr Fox was known as a dissident who opposed the peace process and Sinn Fein's policy of becoming involved in the new Belfast assembly. In an interview with a newspaper last week he accused the IRA of acting as "the policemen of the peace process".

He added: "It's because since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement I've been critical of the republican leadership. When people asked me what I thought of the agreement, I would voice my opinion. I tell them I don't think the struggle was worth that. Is that what men were fighting and dying for? Is that why we went to jail?"

The abducted man's parents, Charles and Teresa Fox, were shot dead by loyalists while he was serving a 10-year prison sentence for possession of an IRA bomb.

He said that last November an IRA gang wearing gloves had searched his home, and that two weeks ago he escaped another abduction attempt not far from his home at Dungannon, Co Tyrone. He had taken extra security precautions, reportedly moving around Ireland in an attempt to evade the IRA.

Meanwhile, the RUC Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, said police were close to identifying those who bombed Omagh, Co Tyrone, last August, killing 29 people. He described the investigation, which had involved interviewing hundreds of witnesses, as going very well.

Sir Ronnie added: "We are very close to knowing who is involved in this atrocity. It is wrong to consider that at any given deadline we are about to bring charges. We will bring charges but there is much yet to be done."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
music
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have the right attitude,...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn