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spy rock Republican group claims they have uncovered surveillance device disguised as rock in Derry

Group said they were alerted after man was seen acting suspiciously in allotment

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The republican group claims they found the rock near allotments in Derry

The republican group claims they found the rock near allotments in Derry

The republican group claims they found the rock near allotments in Derry

An alleged listening device disguised as a rock has been found near an allotment in Derry.

Derry councillor Gary Donnelly, an independent, has said that the device is evidence that undercover agents have been attempting to "spy on the community" in the area.

A spokesperson for the dissident republican group Saoradh, widely believed to be the political wing of the new IRA, which the group denies, claimed children were playing near the allotment when locals say they saw a man wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap bending down as if to tie his shoelaces near the fake rock.

It is alleged the man spoke to the children who were playing with a Belfast accent, asking them, "what are you doing up around here?"

They said the man then got into a dark-coloured car before leaving.

Mr Donnelly said: “This is not unusual. People are operating here 24/7 undercover. There’s a communication mast up the back roads with all sorts of devices.

“It’s controlled by the Brits. There’s no doubt, they’ve admitted it.

“At one point they said it was an emergency services station but an undercover British soldier mentioned it in a book saying it was a very important communications mast for them.

“Usually they’re (monitoring devices) built into the wheel arch of a car or the beam of an attic but recently these people have started putting them in trees and hedges.

“This was obviously there to gather audio information to spy on the community.

“There has been a lot of overt and covert activity in the area over the last couple of weeks.

“It’s my belief that this device was being used for the same purposes.”

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Saoradh claim to have possession of the alleged device

Saoradh claim to have possession of the alleged device

Saoradh claim to have possession of the alleged device

The Saoradh spokesperson claimed members associated with the group searched the area and found what appeared to be a plastic rock, however upon closer inspection they found it to be an electronic 'listening device'.

They said: "These images taken by republican activists show in detail the clandestine British device which was deliberately constructed and planted by British Military Intelligence with the sole purpose of eavesdropping and recording potentially months of audio/sound.

"They then collect the device to charge and extract the collated data and return it to a spot of their choice."

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