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Ferris - Planned Oireachtas GAA match against PSNI should be abandoned

9 June, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport, Martin Ferris TD has called for a Gaelic football match between members of the Oireachtas and a team from the PSNI to be abandoned. Deputy Ferris was responding to plans by fellow Kerry TD Jimmy Deenihan to organise a match to be held at the Kilmacud Crokes pitch in Dublin next Tuesday, June 17.

Deputy Ferris said:

"It is entirely inappropriate for TDs and Senators to take part in such an event at this point in time. The excerpts from the Stevens Report which detail the appalling level of complicity on the part of the RUC/PSNI in the murders of nationalists prove that until there is proper reform of the police in the Six Counties they should not be granted the kind of respectability which such an event would confer.

"Apart from that, members of the PSNI and the British Army continue to harass members and supporters of the GAA who are taking part in Association activities. Indeed the most glaring example of this continues to be the constant and intrusive overflights and British troop movements around the GAA pitch in Crossmaglen. Until such interference ceases, and until there is a properly reformed and acceptable police force in the Six Counties it is not appropriate that the GAA and its facilities should be used to promote the premature rehabilitation of the PSNI". ENDS

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