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SDLP in disarray over Policing

15 July, 2004

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has said that the SDLP are now in disarray over their position on Policing.

Ms Gildernew said:

"The Sinn Féin position on policing has been made crystal clear. We believe that more needs to be done before the Good Friday Agreement vision of policing is delivered. The events of recent days in Ardoyne and Lurgan confirm our assessment to be the right one.

"Within the past week both Danny O'Connor and Martin Morgan have called for the SDLP to rethink their position on Policing, yet the party leader Mark Durkan continues to insist that the Policing Board is the mechanism to hold the PSNI to account.

"If the SDLP believe this to be the case then the question has to be asked why they need to run to British Ministers to discuss policing matters or why do SDLP members feel the need to make representations to the Police Ombudsman. It is obvious from these actions that the Policing Board cannot deliver accountability and the SDLP have now come to that realisation. Indeed the Policing Board have announced that they are not even going to discuss the PSNI operations in Ardoyne until September at the earliest.

"It is clear that recent events show the SDLP to be in some considerable disarray with respect to their position on Policing. The party leader tells us that the Policing Board is the vehicle for accountability while other senior members are calling for the party to leave the current flawed policing structures entirely." ENDS

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