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“Where are Durkan’s tactics now on detention laws” Raymond McCartney MLA

3 June, 2008


Sinn Féin spokesperson, Raymond McCartney MLA (Foyle) has called on SDLP Leader, Mark Durkan to explain his claim that voting in support of an increase in the time a person can be held in custody without charge from 7 to 28 days was a good tactic to prevent even longer periods of detention, now stands up to the imminent introduction of 42 day detentions.

Raymond McCartney said:

"During the debate on so-called new 'anti-terrorism' laws in the British House of Commons on April 1st 2008 (All Fools Day) Mark Durkan led his Party's three MP's in support of increasing the length of detention without charge from 7 to 28 days. At the time he attempted to justify support for what is tantamount to internment without trial by claiming that it was a tactical decision to prevent the British government introducing even more draconian limitations.

"I ask Mark Durkan, 'Where are your tactics now that 42 day detention without charge is imminent'? It seems that the only thing that your tactics proved is the irrelevance of any Irish politicians taking seats in the British House of Commons. After the many cases of miscarriages of justice experienced by Irish people under the 7 day detention orders I would have thought that any Nationalist leader would have strenuously opposed any suggestion of an extension. But then it is not the first time that SDLP politics turned out to be more about (failed) tactics rather than substance."

"The only thing that Mark Durkan's tactics and those of the other's who used this lame excuse for voting for 28 Day detention proved to Gordon Brown, was that there was no principle involved - only politics." ENDS

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