Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin continue efforts to ensure peaceful summer

21 June, 2004

As part of ongoing Sinn Féin efforts to ensure a peaceful summer in interface areas Assembly members Alex Maskey and Kathy Stanton this afternoon met with the British Security Minister Ian Pearson. Speaking after the meeting Mr. Maskey said:

" Over the weekend there were worrying incidents in Belfast following the Tour of the North Orange parade. This included the disgraceful attack on the Mater Hospital by a gang of youths following the Orange parade.

" I was present in North Belfast throughout the evening and I was disturbed by the policing operation which was put in place. The PSNI riot squad was deployed in nationalist areas of North Belfast while the policing operation in unionist districts was visibly more relaxed. I challenged the PSNI personnel on the ground and actually alerted them to problems in various areas including the vicinity of the Mater Hospital. However no action was taken and the results were evident for all to see.

" I raised this issue with the Minister today and I also alerted him to serious concerns being expressed by nationalists living in mixed areas about the ongoing erection of unionist paramilitary flags.

" All of us in political and community leadership need to continue the work undertaken over recent weeks to overcome these difficulties and ensure that the peaceful summer which communities are demanding is delivered." ENDS

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