Republican Sinn Féin has criticised what it says is a “media blackout” of their candidates.
The small republican party is fielding six candidates, who, if elected, will refuse to take their seats in the Belfast Assembly. The party views the Six-County Assembly as intrinsically supporting, rather than undermining, the partition of Ireland.
Brendan Casey, PRO for Joe O’Neill’s election campaign in West Tyrone said a number of statements had been sent to the news media but none had been carried.
“This is not a recent development and we in Republican Sinn Féin feel there is an unofficial policy of ignoring us in favour of the major political parties on this island.
“Recently BBC were contacted to state that as a candidate in West Tyrone Joe O’Neill felt it was important to be involved as a panellist on Noel Thompson’s political talk show.
“The main topic for debate was policing. The fact that Joe us the only anti-British policing candidate standing in West Tyrone was still not enough to secure him a place on the panel.
“This quite simply is astonishing considering this is the main issue being encountered on the doorsteps by his canvassers.
“Republican Sinn Féin states that this is undemocratic as it denies a sizeable amount of people in this constituency a voice. This should be seen for what it is - exclusion politics and we in Republcian Sinn Féin state we will continue to highlight this lack of democracy in the media.”
Meanwhile, RSF has protested after the RSF director of elections in the Six Counties, Michael Lavelle, was detained by the PSNI police for almost an hour in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh on Sunday morning.
Me Lavelle was waiting in Lisnaskea to bring the Vice-President of RSF, Cathleen Knowles McGuirk, to address after-Mass meetings in the county when he was surrounded by armed PSNI men. According to the party, his car and body were searched, while election documentation was removed and read.
CALL TO BROADEN COLLUSION INQUIRY
Meanwhile, the Independent Republican candidate for South Down, Martin Cunningham, has called for a full investigation into British collusion with agents within the Republican Movement as well as unionist paramilitary death squads.
Mr Cunningham’s call came as the Office of the Police Ombudsman in the North requested security files from the PSNI police in connection with an inquiry into the suspected role of British agent Freddie Scappaticci in the killing of three IRA ‘informers’ in 1992.
The Ombudsman is acting on an appeal by Irene Dignam, whose son, Johnny, is thought to have been was shot dead as an informer on Scappaticci’s orders.
Mr Cunningham said he welcomed the call by Sinn Féin’s Catriona Ruane for an investigation into collusion but asked her to publicly support the calls for a full independent international inquiry into the role of British agents in all aspects of the conflict.
Mr Cunningham said: “When we think of collusion we automatically think of RUC and British army collusion with Loyalists in the murder of Nationalists and Republicans however a number of British agents, named and as yet unnamed operated within the Republican movement at the behest of the British establishment, these agents and their actions should also form part of any investigation.”