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Special Branch black listing case goes to heart of policing arguement

14 December, 2004

Commenting on a court case in Belfast today by a woman challenging the Special Branch blacklisting her from working in certain areas, Sinn Féin Assembly member Raymond McCartney has said that this sort of uncontrolled power being exercised by faceless individuals went to the core of the policing argument.

Mr McCartney said:

" From the evidence presented in this case this morning it is clear that the Special Branch blacklisted this woman from participating in her work for one of two reasons or indeed both. Either she refused to spy on republicans or refused to enter into a relationship with a Branch man.

" It is a disgrace that the faceless individuals of Special Branch are able to exercise this sort of unaccountable and uncontrolled power over citizens everyday lives. This case raises the issues that go to the very heart of the current policing arguments.

" The vast majority of the nationalist community who continue to hold out for a genuinely accountable policing service, despite others who have settled for this sort of second class policing, will simply not accept an unaccountable Special Branch cadre continuing to operate in this fashion." ENDS

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