Irish Republican News · November 19, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: UVF funeral gets PSNI approval
UVF funeral gets PSNI approval

uvffuneral.jpg

The kid-gloves handling of a unionist paramilitary funeral has exposed the “rank hypocrisy” of British policing in Ireland, according to Republican Sinn Fein.

Last weekend the PSNI allowed a former senior UVF commander to be buried with his funeral cortege flanked by columns of unmasked UVF paramilitaries.

The UVF men, dressed in black clothes, hats and gloves and wearing UVF armbands, flanked the coffin of Sam ‘Pinky’ Austin as it made its way along the Shankill Road last Saturday. The coffin was also draped with a loyalist flag and topped with a black hat and gloves and accompanied by a display bearing the words ‘No 1 Platoon’.

The overt show of paramilitary strength drew no political comment, but the next day a republican commemoration to remember a young IRA Volunteer sparked loud condemnations over three children dressed in berets and sunglasses.

The impunity afforded to the UVF contrasts with the arrests mounted in the wake of recent republican events, according to RSF.

“This loyalist sectarian force gets immunity from the police as always to as they please,” they said.

“Mark this in contrast to the treatment of republicans in their own communities. In May of this year, twelve members of Republican Sinn Fein were arrested and charged with having taking part, ‘in an illegal parade’ while commemorating their patriot dead in County Armagh.

“Others face more serious charges as the policing and law system try to slap ‘membership’ charges on those who were in the RSF colour party. Up to sixty others have received summons in the post with the courts expecting to prosecute up to seventy people by April next year.

“Republican Sinn Fein condemn the rank hypocrisy of the RUC/PSNI, we are not surprised, they would rather spend resources, ‘keeping the peace’, ‘keeping people safe’ and in doing so cautioning children as young as ten for attending public events.”

‘STAND TOGETHER’

Republican Sinn Fein and Saoradh have also continued to challenge PSNI harassment, and have been highlighting videos of PSNI stop-and-search operations against residents in nationalist areas. An English fitness trainer who was the target of one such operation also brought attention to their oppressive nature when he recorded his treatment while outside his workplace in Omagh, County Tyrone.

“Their oppression makes us stronger,” RSF said in a statement. “For anyone in any doubt as to the levels of this harassment just type in online or on You Tube ‘PSNI Stop and Search’ to see some of the videos which have recorded this harassment.

“Communities must stand together and raise their voices against this harassment.”

© 2016 Irish Republican News