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Orde appears wedded to failed agenda

24 March, 2004

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has said that the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde 'appears wedded to a failed military agenda'. Ms Gildernew's comments come after Mr Orde stated his opposition to demiltarisation in an interview with the BBC journalist Brian Rowen.

Ms Gildernew said:

"In his interview for the latest edition of Brian Rowen's book the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde states very clearly his opposition to moves on demiltarisation. In fact he says that he does not even see this issue as a 'debating point'.

"If Mr Orde had any knowledge of the community which he purports to serve then he would be well aware that the issue of British military occupation is much more than a debating point. If he had to deal with hundreds of complaints from young people being harassed by members of the PSNI and British army then he might begin to grasp the seriousness of this situation.

"Demilitarisation is not an option for Mr Orde or his political masters in Whitehall. It is a central component of the Good Friday Agreement. Nationalists and republicans see demilitarisation as a touchstone issue for the British commitment to this process.

"Recent public interventions by Mr Orde on this and other sensitive matters would indicate that he appears wedded to the old failed military agenda which has dominated policing in the six counties for so long." ENDS

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