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Nationalists Angry At Ballymena PSNI Chief Comments

16 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan today said that nationalists in Ballymena have no confidence in the ability of the PSNI Chief in the town Terry Shevlin to tackle anti-Catholic attacks in the area. He accused the PSNI Chief of providing justification for the murder of Michael McIlveen and of being more interested in boosting his media profile than anything else.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Both myself and my colleague Councillor Monica Digney have been inundated with calls from angry residents in Ballymena concerning the conduct of the PSNI Chief Terry Shevlin in the wake of the murder of Michael McIlveen.

"Shevlin has sought to portray the situation in Ballymena as tit for tat violence. It is nothing of the sort. Catholics in Ballymena have been treated as second class citizens for years. Catholics are frightened to go into their own town centre. Catholic school children are frightened coming home in evening. A 15 year old is beaten to death because he is a Catholic. Shevlin is supposed to be the head of the PSNI in the town. His job is supposed to be to protect the public, instead he has sought to provide excuses for those who brutally murdered Michael McIlveen last week. He is a disgrace.

"Nationalists in Ballymena are rightly angry at Shevlin’s behaviour over the past seven days. He is more interested in chasing headlines and boosting his media profile than standing against sectarianism and anti-Catholic hatred in the town. As a representative of the largest nationalist party in North Antrim I can categorically state that nationalists have no confidence in the ability of Terry Shevlin to provide protection and face down the sectarian bigots waging this campaign of violence." ENDS

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