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Durkan slavishly following NIO agenda with CRJ attack

17 July, 2006

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin has accused the SDLP leader Mark Durkan of ‘slavishly following an agenda set by the NIO securocrats‘. Mr McLaughlin’s comments come after the SDLP leader set out a plan to join forces with the British Conservative party to attack CRJ schemes at a time when the political focus should be firmly on the DUPs failure to engage in the political institutions.

Mr McLaughlin said:

“ At a time when the sole focus needs to be on the DUP and their continuing failure to engage in the political institutions the SDLP continue with their attacks on what are widely regarded as a progressive and valued community facility in an attempt to prevent further policing change and therefore justify their flawed decision to jump too early onto policing. The SDLP’s opposition to CRJ has nothing at all to do with these schemes or the way they operate. Mark Durkan is once again slavishly following an agenda set by the securocrats within the NIO to try and allow Ian Paisley off the hook.

“ Community Restorative Justice is not an alternative to an acceptable and accountable policing service. Such projects are additional to a policing service and now operate successfully across the world. Indeed the work of the schemes currently operating here has been praised by the Oversight Commissioner.

“If ever there was evidence that the SDLP have become part of the policing establishment and how far they have travelled from nationalist opinion in Ireland it is their effort later this week to build an alliance with the British Conservative party to prevent further necessary change and try and scupper the important work done by CRJ schemes within local communities at a time when all of our efforts should be on getting political institutions up and running and the powers on policing and justice transferred to democratically elected politicians.” ENDS

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