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Seamus Mallon's attack on nationalists branded racist

23 February, 2005

Sinn Féin Vice President, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that recent comments from SDLP MP Seamus Mallon the people of West Tyrone, West Belfast and South Armagh would not support the current policing arrangements so they can 'continue their criminality' are bordering on the racist.

"Seamus Mallon's remarks about the people of West Tyrone, West Belfast and South Armagh are completely without foundation and represent a demeaning slur, which verges on the racist.

"It's almost a surprise that he did not also single out the people of North Belfast, South Down, Foyle, North Antrim, North Kerry, Dublin, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan, Donegal, Sligo, South Antrim, South Belfast, East Belfast, East Antrim, Wexford, Waterford, Cork or indeed any of the parts of Ireland where Sinn Fein draw significant electoral support from.

"It was not a slip of the tongue but a clear reflection of the resentment Seamus Mallon harbours against people who support Sinn Féin's political analysis and vision for Irish reunification and our work for people on the ground.

"Sinn Féin has long eclipsed the SDLP in electoral terms. Unable to offer a rational explanation as to the demise of the SDLP in many areas he has instead reverted to the tactic, used throughout history by the British, of demonising entire communities." ENDS

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