Top Issue 1-2024

29 August 2002 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

Durkan urged to support return to Patten

Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin this week welcomed Mark Durkan's call for an all-Ireland parliamentary forum and his commitment to human rights protection, but he also said that the SDLP stance on policing falls far short of its stated position on human rights. The party's national chairperson was commenting on remarks made by the SDLP leader at Beal na Bláth in Cork at the weekend.

"I believe that such a parliamentary forum could assist the Irish government in drawing up a White Paper on Irish unity," said McLaughlin. "However, I find the SDLP stance on policing to fall far short of its stated position on human rights.

"It is obvious that the decision to take its place on the Policing Board is creating major problems for the SDLP in that the human rights abuse of the residents of the Short Strand and North Belfast by the PSNI is proving a major embarrassment to the Party.

"The nationalist experience of the PSNI over the summer months, particularly in North and East Belfast, has been one of a continuation of the sectarian approach to policing traditionally adopted by the RUC. The peoples' opinion is that 'if it looks like the RUC and acts like the RUC' then it is the RUC.

"Rather than continuously attempt to grab headlines by demanding that Sinn Féin join the policing Board the SDLP should direct it energies to joining Sinn Féin in its efforts to achieve the necessary changes to policing that is required.

"Sinn Féin is determined to be a part of the Policing solution but the lack of power presently invested in the Policing Board actually contributes to the continuing problems. Sinn Féin will take our rightful places but only when we have a Policing Board that can hold the Police Service totally to account."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1