Anti-abortion campaigner claims she was assaulted at Sinn Féin Easter event

Anti-abortion campaigner Catherine Sewell previously pictured with her mother Patricia Conroy
Connla Young

POLICE are investigating after an anti-abortion campaigner claimed she was “pushed” by a Sinn Féin member at an Easter Rising commemoration.

Catherine Sewell said she and her husband Ryan were manhandled as they tried to distribute anti-abortion leaflets at the event in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone, on Sunday.

Ms Sewell, a member of the Dungannon-based St Joseph’s Pro Life Group, claimed that a Sinn Féin steward told her and her husband they could not distribute the leaflets before pushing them.

Ms Sewell said she and her husband were placing leaflets on parked vehicles and handing them out to members of the public when they were approached by the man.

Last year St Joseph’s Pro Life Group claimed it cost former Sinn Féin MLA Michelle Gildernew her Fermanagh/South Tyrone Westminster seat after they urged people to vote for pro-life parties.

The group targeted Sinn Féin after it decided to support abortion in some cases last year.

The leaflets handed out on Sunday included a Celtic cross and Irish tricolour and the words: "Never, ever give your vote to an Irish politician who advocates the killing of Irish children in the womb."

On Monday night Ms Sewell said she and her husband were left shaken.

"I have been putting out leaflets for years and I have never been physically assaulted," she said. "I always left on good terms, never anything like that."

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said: "Sinn Féin are aware that a formal complaint has been made to the PSNI and it is now a matter for the PSNI to investigate."

A police spokesman said: "Enquiries are ongoing at this time."

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