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Maskey challenges SDLP over Special Branch agenda

4 December, 2005


Speaking at the Volunteer Martin Savage commemoration over the weekend in Dublin, Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey accused the SDLP of protecting the political detectives in the PSNI Special Branch who are determined to halt further policing and political change.

Mr Maskey said:

" In recent times on the major issues in the peace process the SDLP have been found standing side by side with the rejectionist unionists of the DUP. In order to justify flawed decisions like jumping too early on policing, the SDLP, part of a new policing establishment, is now determined to prevent further necessary change in order to justify their position.

" Sinn Féin is determined to continue to defend the nationalist and republican interest. We are determined to achieve further political and policing change. The SDLP decision to leave that road will not alter our determination to succeed.

" In the course of recent days the PSNI Special Branch have embarked upon a series of politically motivated raids accompanied by the usual media briefing. Sinn Féin have been targeted. Ordinary nationalists and republicans have been targeted. The GAA have been targeted. We can only presume that the SDLP enthusiastically back the PSNI in all of this.

" The political detectives in the Special Branch who plan, control and deliver this sort of political policing feel under no pressure from the SDLP. In fact the blank cheque handed to them by the Policing Board only serves to protect these individuals at a time when their agenda of subverting the peace process should be consigned to history." ENDS

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