Republicans protest policing move
A second Sinn Féin assembly member has resigned from the party over its moves towards accepting policing.
Mid-Ulster representative Geraldine Dougan had already announced she would not be putting her name forward for selection for the forthcoming assembly elections.
Mrs Dougan is a sister-in-law of former INLA chief Dominic McGlinchey, whose brother Paul is to stand as an independent republican candidate in the forthcoming elections.
Anti-policing republicans plan to put forward candidates in at least 13 constituencies.
Last week, Newry and Armagh Assembly member Davy Hyland resigned from Sinn Féin.
Speaking after his resignation after 25 years service, Mr Hyland said he was “shocked and saddened” that he received notice that his name had been removed from the party’s election slate through an anonymous text.
“Having given a lifetime of service to the Republican movement, I was shocked and saddened when advised of my deselection by an anonymous text message,” he said.
“I was particularly taken aback when the convention was fixed for a date when I couldn’t attend, despite the organisers being aware of this fact several weeks in advance.
“I believe the project to deselect me actually began some time ago when, against my will and uniquely within the party, I was forced to resign my seat on Newry and Mourne District Council.
“Following consultation with my family and friends and the people that I represent, I have given the matter serious consideration and I reluctantly conclude that there is no longer a place for me as a Sinn Féin representative in this area. I leave Sinn Féin secure in the knowledge that I have remained true to my Republican principles.”
Opposition among rival republicans is also growing, with the 32 County Sovereignty Movement -- which broke away from Sinn Féin in 1998 -- releasing a statement of opposition.
“Recognition of the PSNI in any of its reformed status is recognising the convictions of republicans before British Courts, dishonouring and criminalising republican dead,” said Francis Mackey, National Chairman 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
“By recognising the PSNI, Gerry Adams effectively is giving a commitment to assist in the ongoing hunt for republicans who are wanted in ongoing cases.
“The 32 County Sovereignty Movement calls on the rank and file members of Sinn Féin to reject this silly notion that the PSNI would be a civic police force absolved of any political role.
“It is not possible, and recent statements show that the liaison between MI5 and the PSNI ties them totally into policing Britain’s illegal claim to sovereignty over part of our nation.
“These are the issues Gerry Adams needs to debate with republicans.”