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1 August 2002 Edition

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Glengormley youths demand impartial policing

Up to 50 young people from Glengormley, just outside Belfast, held a protest outside Glengormley RUC/PSNI barracks last Saturday, 27 July.

During the protest, the young people blocked the road outside the barracks and held up traffic on the busy thoroughfare for 15 minutes.

They are critical of the RUC/PSNI in the area and are accusing them of using heavy handed tactics against nationalist youths.

The RUC/PSNI refuse to allow young nationalists to gather in and around the centre of the village. At the same time, loyalist gangs who have a track record of attacking Catholics are allowed to congregate unhindered.

In one of the most recent examples of RUC/PSNI brutality, a youth in his late teens was beaten by the RUC/PSNI after a night out. The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning 20 July, just 24 hours before 19-year-old Gerard Lawlor was shot dead by loyalist gunmen as he left a pub in Glengormley.

The youth and some friends were walking into Glengormley village to get a takeaway meal when the RUC/PSNI stopped them. Despite the fact that the youths had not been involved in any trouble the RUC/PSNI refused to let them go about their business and set about one of the youths, leaving him badly bruised.

Sinn Féin councillor for the area Breige Meehan said: "Young people from this area are under constant threat from loyalist gangs yet when the RUC/PSNI intervene it is always to confront the nationalists. Sinn Féin is compiling a dossier of incidents which we intend forwarding to the Dublin government."
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