The Irish News reports that Bernard Fox, a long-standing republican and former hunger striker, was detained by MI5 at Belfast International Airport on Friday, as he returned from a family holiday.
The Irish Times also has the story.According to The Irish News, two men identified themselves as MI5 and then,
“His solicitor Ciaran Shiels, from Belfast firm Madden and Finucane, said Mr Fox was “subjected to a series of bizarre questions relating to the peace process and the current political situation”. “Our client instructs us that whilst being held in an interview room he repeatedly enquired if he was under arrest and that he wanted his solicitor notified and present with him,” Mr Shiels said.
He claimed that when Mr Fox left the room, one of the men attempted to give him a telephone number to contact them in future but Mr Fox refused to accept the number.
He also alleged the registration of the car Mr Fox was travelling in was noted by police.
In a written statement, Mr Fox said it was “widely known within the republican community that I do have reservations, like many others, about the policing issue”. He insisted he is not a “so-called dissident”, and he said he was worried he would be labelled as such and had concerns about “where this confrontation could lead to”.
The Irish News says he has lodged a formal complaint with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal – an independent body which investigates complaints against the intelligence services.