Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin announce details of Newry and Armagh DDP members

3 October, 2007

Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy announcing his Party's nominees for the local DPPs has said that it was essential that communities get the policing service that they are entitled to.

Mr Murphy said:

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

"Sinn Fein is serious about our commitment to achieving an accountable and acceptable policing service. Policing with the community needs to be the core function of any civic policing service and we want to ensure that will happen. Sinn Fein local elected representatives sitting on the DPPs is another step along that road. Sinn Féin want to see the local community and criminal justice agencies, especially the PSNI, working together to ensure that people can live in peace and safety, free from intimidation, threat or violence.

"Many communities feel that PSNI neither have the commitment nor the willingness to deal with anti social violence and criminality in their areas. Many see the PSNI as being indifferent to their plight. There is a feeling of abandonment. The District Policing Partnerships is charged with holding the PSNI to account and to ensuring a full and effective delivery of service to the community. Sinn Féin's presence there will be the guarantee that this happens.

"The Sinn Féin members on the Newry and Mourne and Armagh District Policing Partnerships will provide the voice for communities who have in the past experienced only bad policing. We want to play a constructive role on those Partnerships but we will not shy away from challenging, or criticising, or questioning policing decisions and policy when the need arises.

"Sinn Féin is working to open new space for the local community and criminal justice agencies, especially the PSNI, to work together and fulfil their obligations to uphold the rights of those who want to live in safety and peace. Our communities want the PSNI to do its job, to thoroughly investigate complaints of criminality and anti-social behaviour and arrest those responsible and take them off the streets." ENDS

Sinn Féin will hold four seats on Newry and Mourne DPP. At present the party will have two Councillors on the Armagh DPPs with the possibility of a third seat.

Sinn Fein Newry and Mourne DPP nominees

Cllr Brendan Curran has been a Sinn Fein Councillor since 1985, representing the Newry City Ward. The Irish Language activist, former Mayor of Newry and Mourne and Republican ex-prisoner has been involved in many campaigns in his Newry City area. He has been particularly vocal in highlighting the growing drugs culture. "The reason why policing is such a challenging issue, the reason why we have been fighting tooth and nail to get it right is because we don't want anyone, ever again to experience the type of political policing we have had."

Cllr Colman Burns has been a Slieve Gullion Councillor since 2001.He has been involved in the Republican movement for many years and the married family man is regarded as one of the most active Councillors sitting on Newry and Mourne. Since his election he has been focused on ensuring that the lives and well being of communities are to the fore of all policies and services. "Our political strategy involves critically engaging with structures of society that affect the lives of the people that we represent and seek to represent. We do this while unapologetically and ceaselessly pursuing our primary objective of ending Partition."

Cllr Turlough Murphy represents the Fews area and he has been a life long Republican. He is determined to deliver open, effective and accountable. "Republicans have now secured the opportunity to hold the PSNI to account and ensure that they deliver a service. We are now seizing the potential to bring about ongoing change in the policing arena. We are not joining the DPPs to continue what has been going on, the propping up of bad policing."

Cllr Mickey Ruane has represented the Crotlieve area since 2001. A lifelong and committed Republican he has been active in securing the continuing growth of Sinn Fein in the South Down area. "Our communities having been confronted with serious incidents of anti social violence and criminality firmly believe that the response to tackling what is happening by the PSNI, has, at best, been totally inadequate. Our focus will be to ensure that it carries out its duties and responsibilities in a fair and impartial way, as an effective civic police service, which is democratically accountable to the public."

Sinn Fein Armagh DPP nominees

Cllr Cathy Rafferty has been a Councillor on Armagh City and District Council since 2001. She has been involved with the Republican movement for many years and is a Republican ex-prisoner. She is married and has two children. Cathy is a caring and energetic local elected representative and has earned the respect for her commitment to the communities she serves. "Let's be clear and honest about this, policing is an emotive issue for Republicans. It is emotive not because we are against policing, we are not. It is emotive because of our own personal experiences and that which our communities have had of policing."

Cllr Noel Sheridan is currently the Deputy Mayor of Armagh City and District Council and a life long Republican. He is regarded as a capable and experienced local elected representative who is not afraid to tackle inequality and champion the rights and needs all and in particular the most vulnerable in our society. "Our community deserves proper policing and we are determined to get it. It is now time for us to get in there, hold the PSNI to account. Republicans have to ensure that we never allow what happened in the past to happen again to anyone."

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