13 December 2001 Edition

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Sinn Féin oppose RUC/PSNI drugs debate invite

A dozen Sinn Féin activists picketed a West Belfast restaurant, on Friday 7 December, in protest against the RUC/PSNI.

A local community discussion group, the Compass Trust, which is based in the Paprika restaurant on the Falls Road, had organised a debate on drugs and invited the RUC/PSNI.

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Maskey, who lead the protest, said that "of course Sinn Féin welcomes any debate or discussion on the issue of drugs, but local people know the RUC's track record on drugs - of using dealers as agents - so they were angry that the RUC/PSNI were asked along to this debate".

During the picket Jim McCorry of Compass Trust spoke to Paul Maskey and Michael Browne, also an Upper Falls representative, and said that while the RUC/PSNI had been invited to the debate they hadn't showed up.

"We made out point," Maskey said, "that the RUC/PSNI aren't welcome, but we hope to sit down with the owners of Paprika and the Compass Trust and sort this out through dialogue."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1