Irish Republican News · December 15, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Anger at PSNI violence in Castlederg

Sinn Féin is to hold a protest outside Castlederg PSNI police station tomorrow over the continuing sectarian and brutal treatment of the local nationalist community by the PSNI.

For several months, nationalist politicians in Castlederg, which sits close to the Tyrone/Donegal border, have been critical of the PSNI’s behaviour when dealing with local youths.

Earlier this week, the PSNI helped the Protestant Apprentice Boys organisation to flout a Parades Commission ruling, when they allowed a parade feeding into Saturday’s Lundy Parade in Derry onto the town’s nationalist Lurganbuoy Road.

Three men were arrested after clashes ensued between nationalist residents and police at Castlefin Park.

As the marchers reached the police lines on Saturday, they produced a letter ostensibly from the commission and were permitted by police to go onto part of the road.

But a spokesman for the Parades Commission said the letter had no legal weight and that the official notification said the march could not go onto Lurganbuoy Road.

But Mr Doherty dismissed the decision of the police as “business as usual” in Castlederg.

“The more things change, the more things stay the same in Castlederg. Never-ending displays of loyalist and unionist triumphalism in this majority nationalist town are accompanied by habitual acts of PSNI aggression” Mr Doherty said.

The Dublin government was asked last month to monitor the behaviour of the PSNI towards nationalist residents of the isolated Border town.

Some PSNI members appear to be deliberately involved in a campaign to criminalise nationalist youths in the bitterly divided Border town.

In a number of serious incidents, nationalists living in the town have been physically assaulted and by PSNI men armed with CS gas.


Meanwhile, the PSNI has announced that they intend to use the British Army to accompany them on patrols over the Christmas period across the North.

The PSNI blamed what it said was a “heightened threat” of dissident republican bomb attacks for the action.

Dismissing this, Sinn Féin warned that the move would compound nationalist and republican alienation from the police service.

Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy said the announcement shows “how far the PSNI has to travel” before becoming an “acceptable and accountable civic police force”.

“The British army has no role to play in the future of policing in the six counties,” he said.

“No policing service accompanied by heavily armed British soldiers will be acceptable to the nationalist community in the North.

“A civic policing service does not behave in this fashion.”

In previous years there have been a number of hoax bomb alerts during the Christmas period.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News