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Maskey accuses Rodgers of making politics on threats

20 September, 2003

Responding to comments made by the SDLP Deputy leader Brid Rogers demanding a statement from the IRA on ongoing threats to members of local DPPs Sinn Féin spokesperson Alex Maskey accused her of 'continuing to politic around the issue and of using these threats in an attempt to mask the fact that the SDLP jumped too early on policing'.

Cllr. Maskey said:

"Where has Brid Rodgers been for the past two weeks? The Sinn Féin position on these threats has been made abundantly clear time and again. They are wrong and they should stop and those behind them should disband.

"However, there are some including the SDLP leadership, the Chief Constable of the PSNI and the Vice Chair of the Policing Board who have attempted to use these threats in a cynical way to attack republicans and try and force Sinn Féin to sign up to flawed policing arrangements. This will not happen. Sinn Féin will only accept the new beginning to policing which the Good Friday Agreement promises.

"Continuing politicking around this issue is unhelpful and does nothing to ease the concerns of DPP members. Brid Rodger's comments this morning concerning the involvement of members of the IRA in these threats would appear to be based upon information coming directly from the Special Branch. Their agenda is very clear. They want to prevent an accountable policing service from being created and they want to prevent the participation of the republican community in that. Brid Rodger's comments feed that agenda directly." ENDS

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