Republican News · Thursday 25 May 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Adams speaks out on policing


The recently published Police Bill does not advance the objective of a new policing service, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams told people attending last Sunday's commemoration for plastic bullet victim Carol Ann Kelly in West Belfast.

``There is no way, at this time, that I, or Sinn Féin, could recommend to nationalists or republicans that they should consider joining or supporting a police force as described in that legislation,'' said Adams.

For republicans to even consider a Six-County policing service is a huge step which would require a huge shift in our approach,'' said the Sinn Féin leader. ``Many republicans and nationalists are extremely uncomfortable with this concept.''

Several hundred people gathered outside the Kelly family's Twinbrook home for a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 19th anniversary of Carol Ann Kelly's death. She was only 12 when she was gunned down by a plastic bullet fired by a British soldier.

Three generations of the Kelly family, including Carol Ann's mother Eileen, her children and grandchildren, were present at the ceremony.

A lighted candle was placed beneath the permanent memorial which stands at the spot where the schoolgirl lay fatally injured just a few metres away from her own home. Michael Kelly, a grandson, planted a cherry tree as a living memorial to Carol Ann.

Speaking, Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice said: ``There is a sense of amnesia out there over victims of state violence. Some people don't want to recognise the hurt caused by the British Army and RUC.''

``As far as the state is concerned,'' said Gerry Adams, ``Carol Ann never existed and like so many others her death was surrounded by lies. The British claimed there was a riot. There wasn't.''

Seventeen people had been killed by plastic bullets, nine of whom were children, Adams told the crowd. ``No member of the RUC or British army has ever been convicted of its misuse.''

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