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Policing operation in the Short Strand a ‘total disgrace’ – Ó Donnghaile

13 August, 2008

Policing operation in the Short Strand a 'total disgrace' - Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin's East Belfast Representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has blasted a totally disproportionate policing operation in the Short Strand.

Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

"Due to a Loyalist band parade taking place in East Belfast, the Short Strand was subject to a totally over the top and disproportionate policing operation in order to accommodate that parade. What we saw tonight was similar to operations inflicted on this area five or ten years ago.

There was a low flying police chopper over the district, an abundance of TSG's (some openly brandishing automatic rifles), and numerous land rovers throughout parts of the area where the parade didn't even pass as well as vehicles containing police dogs.

Clearly someone, somewhere in East Belfast PSNI has lost the run of themselves and disregarded the work put in by Sinn Féin members and community activists when meeting with them in the run up to previous parades in order to ease tensions created as a result of parades passing Nationalist homes.

Both Alex Maskey and I will be having thorough discussions with the PSNI over the coming days regarding this matter; they have an obligation to create community confidence within this area, their over the top and needless operation tonight does nothing to aid that endeavour."


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