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Lowry is the epitome of all that is wrong with Northern Policing

6 December, 2004

Sinn Féin's North Antrim MLA, Philip McGuigan, has responded to comments made by both Bill Lowry and Ian Paisley at the recent DUP Fundraising Dinner in Kells.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The comments made by Bill Lowry last week are obviously those of a bitter and twisted man, prejudiced in the extreme, and he has no qualms about not hiding these bigoted views - which should be seen in the context of a man who headed up both the RUC and PSNI Special Branch for many years.

„Nationalists/Republicans are all too acutely aware of the activities of this ŒForce within a force‚. They are all too aware of collusion with loyalist death squads that led to the deaths of many people in the north.

"It will not be lost on people either the fact that Mr Lowry‚s remarks were made at a DUP gathering. This was the man who was responsible for the politically motivated media-inspired raid on the Sinn Féin Offices in Stormont that has been exposed for the PSNI PR stunt that it was.

"Mr Lowry in fact, was the epitome of all that was and remains wrong with policing in the north. We can still see politically motivated policing decisions being taken in places like Ballymena, where they campaign to demonise Sinn Féin and republicans continuously. We need a police service that is accountable, free from partisan political control and free from the likes of Bill Lowry."

Mr McGuigan continued, saying that "this dinner seemed to be a competition between Mr Paisley and Mr Lowry to see who could make the most outlandish and bitter comments".

"Whether a deal is done or not done this week it is obvious how far the DUP and Ian Paisley in particular have come in from the political wilderness.

"The man who for 30 years has continually said ŒNo‚ now has to contemplate saying 'Yes'. We all remember Paisley's claim that he was going to smash Sinn Féin. He even said recently that Sinn Féin needed to be disbanded!

"The reality is an altogether different scenario. Any deal will be within the template of the Good Friday Agreement. It will include power-sharing with Sinn Féin and include working the all-Ireland institutions. The DUP leader, his party and his supporters have big decisions to make. If Mr Paisley cannot countenance such a scenario then the two governments need to push on and implement their part of the Agreement in terms of policing, demilitarisation and the Equality and Human Rights agenda. They must also ensure that the all Ireland nature of the Agreement is protected and built upon." ENDS

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