A British commitment to close two spy bases in County Fermanagh has been reneged upon, it was announced yesterday.
The PSNI stations at Newtownbutler and Irvinestown are to be retained after a sudden U-turn by Crown force commanders. Questions have also been raised over the previously announced closure of six other bases.
Sinn Féin today slammed the decision as a political “pandering” to unionists. Local Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew said that the U-turn by police commanders showed that the PSNI was failing to adapt to the new situation in the aftermath of the recent ‘standing down’ statement by the Provisional IRA.
“Today’s decision is not only about pandering to rejectionist unionists, but it makes no sense whatsoever,” she said.
“Once again the PSNI have failed to adapt to the changing political realities across the Six Counties.”
“The Policing Board requested that the PSNI carry out further consultation on a proposal to close eight stations in the County. This U-turn in regards to Newtonbutler and Irvinestown will come as little surprise to nationalists who will no doubt regard this as a political decision to appease rejectionist unionists.
“The PSNI claim that they conducted an extensive consultation exercise with local communities in Newtonbutler and Irvinestown will not wash with nationalists. The majority of nationalists do not want these spy bases in their communities.”