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Raymond McCartney demands no ambiguity on Plastic Bullets

6 March, 2005


Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney speaking to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis said there is "no room for ambiguity on Plastic Bullets anywhere or in any situation".

Ta me ag labhairt ar son run 311- 315 - 323

I am speaking in support of motions of 311 - 315 - 323

At various times throughout the past thirty five years the British government thought by a simple change in name that they could get people to believe that real change had come about.

Remember the early 190s the internees overnight became detainees - Long Kesh became the Maze - The B Specials became the UDR who became the RIR. Of course there are some who believe change the name - and you change the nature of the problem, Today they shelter behind the new label of PSNI to cover over the inadequacies which still remain in policing. Of course truth does not change at the stroke of a pen.

Only this week we get latest change in name - no longer will we have Plastic bullets - and in their place and wait for this Attenuating Energy Projectiles - I will say that again Attenuating Energy Projectiles.

We are told by some who are LESS THAN HONEST that AEPs are LESS THAN LETHAL. This weapon is another form of plastic bullet which has killed men women and children. This is not a time for deferral as the SDLP opted for this week - this is the time for a clear and precise message - this weapon is lethal and the Policing Board must refuse to purchase - and put them in the hands of those who have abused them before.

No room for ambiguity on this either - there is no place for this weapon anywhere or in any situation.

The Policing Board have also provided a new name for CS GAS - they call it - Anti-Person Control Spray - they make it sound like the latest deodorent for men. As I speak it has been used over 100 times in the North ˆ with most of the incidents going unreported in the media.

It has severely injured those it was intentionally directed at and it has also injure people in close proximity. A similar weapon has been withdrawn in the United States as it was responsible for death of a spectator in a sports stadium.

Yet we have a policing board which not only approved their deployment behind closed doors - but it was forced into a position to admit that they permitted its use without guidelines. It was up to the PSNI to issue its own guidelines - Responsible management at its very best.

Let there be no doubt that this is CS GAS and the motion should be supported.

These are just some of the matters which the SDLP have failed to act on - indeed it highlights the bankruptcy of their position on policing in general. They failed the people of Ardoyne last July and the people of Short Strand the year previous.

Their positions on the Policing Board, their role on the whole issue of policing is not about serving the public interest, but self interest and self preservation.

The nationalist and republican electorate have delivered their verdict on the way forward for accountable policing and they certainly did not vote for Joe Byrne and Tom Kelly.

In conclusion I urge people to support the motion for the removal of the Rosemount spy post. I commend the PFC for its attempts to have it registerd in the Guinness book of records - £250,000 for 12 visits per year - £20000 a visit and as one republican cynic was heard to say - put me down for two of them and I will do it at half the price.

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