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U-turn on closure of PSNI bases is a sop to rejectionist unionists

22 August, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has today criticised the decision not to close PSNI bases in the villages of Newtonbutler and Irvinestown.

Speaking today Ms Gildernew said:

"Today's decision is not only about pandering to rejectionist unionists, but it makes no sense whatsoever. Once again the PSNI have failed to adapt to the changing political realities across the Six Counties.

"The Policing Board requested that the PSNI carry out further consultation on a proposal to close eight stations in the County. This U-turn in regards to Newtonbutler and Irvinestown will come as little surprise to nationalists who will no doubt regard this as a political decision to appease rejectionist unionists.

"The PSNI claim that they conducted an extensive consultation exercise with local communities in Newtonbutler and Irvinestown will not wash with nationalists. The majority of nationalists do not want these spy bases in their communities.

"The SDLP must also bear some responsibility in regards to this. Since joining the Policing Board they have pledged to represent the nationalist people - instead in the past number of weeks alone they have been party to the appeasement of rejectionist unionism with this move and the recent decision to arm the PSNI with a new batch of plastic bullets." ENDS

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