Sinn Féin - On Your Side

PSNI Lurgan comments make situation worse

20 July, 2004

Upper Bann Sinn Féin Representatives John O'Dowd and Dr. Dara O'Hagan today met with the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan to discuss the overturning of a Parades Commission determination by the PSNI in Lurgan on July 13th.

Speaking after the meeting Mr O'Dowd said:

"Since the disgraceful events in Lurgan on July 13th when the PSNI forced a Loyal Order parade through an area of the town prohibited by the Parades Commission the local PSNI Commander has attempted to claim that his actions were due to a parked car. None of this bears up to any impartial scrutiny of the facts.

"The entire PSNI operation which involved flooding the nationalist end of the town with the riot squad while allowing thousands of loyalists, including the local LVF, to congregate in the town centre was designed to facilitate a parade into the nationalist part of the town in direct defiance of the Parades Commission. No other explanation for the style of the PSNI operation is believable.

"The PSNI member in charge of the operation Alan McCrum is part of the old RUC rump who remain in senior positions within the PSNI. For people like Alan McCrum there will only ever be one winner in a contest between the human rights of the nationalist community or the demands of any of the Loyal Orders.

"Nationalists and republicans in Lurgan will be watching closely the outcome of the investigation launched today as a result of our complaint. The actions of the PSNI in Lurgan on July 13th have caused serious damage to efforts being made by a variety of political and community leaders in the town to improve and develop community relations and Alan McCrum's pathetic and unbelievable defence of his actions in today's Irish News only adds to these difficulties." ENDS

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