Protests over PSNI visits to Croke Park, schools
Protests over PSNI visits to Croke Park, schools

A football match later today [Friday] involving the PSNI police at the Croke Park headquarters of the GAA is to be protested by Republican Sinn Fein.

The decision to permit the Six-County police to play at Croke Park confirmed that the national Gaelic sports association is again being used to normalise British Rule in Ireland, RSF said.

In a related development, the PSNI has been seeking permission to visit Catholic schools in the North as part of a recruitment drive.

Republican Sinn Fein said the decision to “bring the British Colonial Police into Croke Park - like the visit by the Queen of England in May -- contravenes the principles upon which the GAA was founded, namely the essential unity of Ireland as a nation.

They pointed that the GAA has never recognised the British-imposed border but has remained an All-Ireland Association.

“Faithful Irish Republicans, many of whom are members of the GAA, will oppose this visit and will use it to highlight the fact that British rule/occupation in Ireland is not or never will be normal or acceptable.

“Like James Connolly we say `England has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland’.”

And in recent months the PSNI has been meeting representatives from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) to arrange a programme targeting schools in North and West Belfast, parts of Fermanagh and Tyrone.

CCMS chief executive Jim Clarke described the visits as “a future-focussed initiative... policing is part of the normalisation of society and what we have got to do in Northern Ireland is make the so-called abnormal, normal for us and this initiative is part of that.”

A Belfast Cumann of the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) held a protest outside the CCMS offices in opposition to their decison, while Workers Solidarity Movement also expressed serious concerns over the development.

“There is nothing normal or acceptability about a police force that is armed to the teeth with lethal weapons of repression from plastic bullets to the aggressive use of the latest anti-terror legislation aimed at crushing any dissent, to the use of child informers and agent provocateurs.

“There may have been a change in the name, badge and composition but the reality on the ground is in stark contrast to the media spin and propaganda offensive waged by the RUC/PSNI.

“Only a few weeks ago the PSNI hit a PR disaster with the arrest of Republican for Network Unity Member Ciaran Cunningham and family members including his mother a lay magistrate on alleged kidnapping charges. This was the outcome of a campaign of intimidation waged against Ciaran and anyone who associates with him including family and friends. These charges were later dropped and all released without conditions. Furthermore a 15 year old boy and 17 year old girl in Derry were arrested a week before in connection to ‘dissident republican’ activity and later released without charge.

“These examples mentioned are part of a pattern that should be exposed and opposed whenever necessary. All our schools and colleges should be open and neutral places of learning, free from the blight of militarism and the various armed bodies of the state which represent a threat to us all.”

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© 2011 Irish Republican News