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McDonald slams Minister for Justice as paranoid

22 August, 2003

Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member and EU Candidate for Dublin Marylou McDonald has accused the Minister for Justice of being paranoid for introducing further self-serving draconian measures dealing with the Gardai and their access to the media.

Ms McDonald said: "This is the latest in a long line of draconian measures that Michael McDowell and this governments have introduced as they have become increasingly paranoid about the media. And once again they have picked the wrong target and the wrong issue.

"But lets face it the Gardai have not exactly covered themselves in glory on this issue. For too long elements of the Gardai have been allowed to interfere in the political process for their own self interest. As republicans we know only too well that their unfettered access to the media through un-sourced briefings has very often been used to try and halt the growth of Sinn Féin and indeed to interfere with the natural out workings of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Michael McDowell needs to be stopped. He needs to stop introducing totally unwarranted draconian measures and to stop acting in self interest. He needs to set about the real task of reforming the Gardai and bringing about a fully accountable policing service with an independent Garda Ombudsman who can initiate independent investigations."

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