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SDLP hypocrisy over Flanagan resignation call

23 January, 2007

Following Mark Durkan's call for Ronnie Flanagan to go Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has accused the SDLP leader Mark Durkan of "gross opportunism and hypocrisy over his calls for the resignation of Ronnie Flanagan."

Mr. Maskey, himself a victim of collusion, said:

"In 1994, and at the same time that the dreadful collusion identified in yesterdays O'Loan report was going on at an event in Ballymurphy at which I was present, one senior SDLP figure was saying that there were 'RUC people we can work with, and one of these was Ronnie Flanagan'. Four years before the Good Friday Agreement and the Patten report, and many years before the new accountability mechanisms, including the Ombudsman's office was in place, Alex Attwood was urging nationalists in west Belfast to work with the
RUC and specifically Ronnie Flanagan.

"Attwood's comments, and the ineffectual manner in which it has dealt with the policing issue, exposes the inadequacy of the SDLP's policing policy. In 1994 the SDLP was too quick to support policing. Seven years later the SDLP was too quick to jump on to the Policing Board. The SDLP's approach to the policing issue has been characterised over the decades by an abject failure to properly and effectively represent the concerns of nationalists." ENDS

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