Anger at PSNI role in South Armagh
Anger at PSNI role in South Armagh

The 32-County Sovereignty Movement has accused Sinn Féin of making “choreographed” moves to bring the PSNI police into South Armagh.

Last week, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy invited the PSNI to a residents meeting in the village of Meigh to deal with “anti-social behaviour”.

Speaking after the meeting in Newry, Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said it had been “another step” along the road of seeing that policing with the community became the “core function of any civic policing service”.

“It is essential that communities get the policing service that they are entitled to,” he said.

“The experience for many of policing in this area has been one of heavy handedness, political, sectarian and partisan.

“Sinn Féin are serious about our commitment to achieving an accountable and acceptable policing service.”

Sinn Féin wanted to see the local community “and criminal justice agencies, especially the PSNI, working together to ensure that people could live in peace and safety, free from intimidation, threat or violence.”

However, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement refuted this. It said that the area was quieter than it has been in many years and that the PSNI meeting was “politically motivated” rather than “any genuine concern for local people”.

In a statement, the group asked if the local Sinn Féin MP would urge the community to inform on what they described as “republican separatists” behind the planting of bombs in Newry last week.

“Will any further acts of resistance against the occupying forces be seen as acts of criminality? Sinn Féin needs to make their position on this clear to the people.”

The statement, issued by local PRO Kevin Murphy, described the RUC/PSNI as “the armed wing of the Six-County state” which had used intimidation threat and violence to maintain the illegal British presence in Ireland.

“Its primary function is to defend the status quo and it will no doubt continue to use such means in future against those who challenge this.

“As this challenge will inevitably come from republican separatists how is it possible that the RUC can offer any republican community peace and safety, free from intimidation, threat or violence”?


Meanwhile, there was anger in Derry after the PSNI used CS gas in spray form in an attack on a group of youths, including a boy with special needs.

The incident in the city’s Ballymagroarty area last week began when the policemen challenged two teenagers who were riding a scooter.

As a confrontation developed, police fired the debilitating gas and three men were arrested for alleged “abusive behaviour”.

Sinn Féin has accused the PSNI of targeting the youths and called for an investigation by Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan.

Assembly member and Policing Board member Martina Anderson said: “While politicians and community representatives have a responsibility to encourage support for proper policing, the PSNI has a huge responsibility to earn the trust and respect of communities by delivering accountable policing.

“The days of the police force is over and must be seen to be over.”

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