We represent Tom Murphy from Crossmaglen who was the subject of media coverage of last week’s CAB and ARA searches and seizures in Dundalk and Manchester respectively.

He wishes to make the following statement about the matter:

“There is absolutely no foundation to the allegations about me which have been carried in the media for some time and repeated at length over the past week.

I have never conducted any business with the Craven Property group, nor have I any link with other businesses run by them.

It is distressing to myself and my family to see false allegations being made by anonymous staff in the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) and repeated as fact in the media. I want to categorically state, for the record, that all of these allegations are totally untrue.

I believe that questions have to be asked as to why these raids were conducted in the full glare of the media and why my name was leaked in connection with this case.

My name has appeared on no ARA statement that I am aware of and no agency has been in contact with me in relation to any of this.

My solicitors are in contact with those concerned to ascertain why my name has been falsely linked to this case.

I do not own any property and, in fact, I had to sell my own home some years ago to cover legal fees following an unsuccessful libel case. Despite losing this case I take an attack on my reputation very seriously.

The premises depicted in the media is not in fact my home and I do not live at that address. I make a living from farming.

Those opposed to the peace process are obviously hoping that in vilifying me personally and republicanism in general they will scupper attempts to build peace. They will not succeed.

I have been a republican all my life and fully support the peace process. I will continue to play whatever role I can to see it work.”