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14 December 2000 Edition

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Gardaí act with malice

Sinn Féin has accused the Garda Representative Association (GRA) of fabrication following comments by that body on Wednesday in connection with the release on compassionate parole of two republican prisoners over the last month.

``This has been done as part of a campaign by the GRA to try and prevent the release of the Castlerea Five,'' said Gerry Kelly, rejecting the GRA's claim that two of the prisoners had abused compassionate parole.

``The commotion caused by the GRA has little to do with how compassionate parole is exercised but about who receives it as both Jeremiah Sheehy and Pearse McAuley honoured the terms of their compassionate parole.

``The GRA is misrepresenting the facts in an attempt to attack Sinn Féin's irrefutable case that the republican prisoners held in Castlerea are entitled to release under the terms of the Goood Friday Agreement. Any attmept to check out this story quickly shows how much of it is factually incorrect.

``These prisoners should have been released by now and Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for their immediate release.''

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