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Hain Challenged After South Armagh Reference In Glenties Speech

18 July, 2006


Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy has challenged the British Secretary of State Peter Hain to demonstrate his newly found concern for the views of the people of Crossmaglen regarding policing by stopping the proposed PSNI land theft in the town. Mr Murphy’s comments come after Peter Hain referred to the people of Crossmaglen in his Glenties speech on Sunday night.

Mr Murphy said:

“While many local people in South Armagh are sceptical if Peter Hain has ever actually met anyone from Crossmaglen he claimed in his Glenties speech to have knowledge of their views on Policing.

“As the person elected by the people of that area and someone who lives in South Armagh I can speak with some authority on their views on the policing issue. Policing remains a massive sore in South Armagh. The PSNI are not viewed as an accountable or representative force. They operate from heavily fortified military bases and harassment levels remain high.

“One issue however which has caused much local anger in Crossmaglen in particular is the plan by the PSNI to steal land from local residents in order to maintain a military fortress in the town. This is not what the British government promised in its demilitarisation package nor is it what Patten envisaged for the future of policing.

“So if Hain is genuinely concerned about the views of the people of Crossmaglen then he will demonstrate this by removing the threat of the PSNI to conduct this seedy land grab and ensure that all British occupied land in South Armagh returns to its rightful owners. Otherwise Hain’s reference to the people of Crossmaglen in his Glenties speech will be exposed as little more than a pathetic sound bite.” ENDS

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