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Kelly accuses Attwood of being a cheerleader for unacceptable policing

21 September, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing issues Gerry Kelly has accused the SDLP Chairperson Alex Attwood of 'being a cheerleader for an unaccountable police force'. Mr. Kelly's comments come after Mr. Attwood accused republicans of running scared on the policing issue.

Mr. Kelly said:

"Alex Attwood is regularly the leading cheerleader for the current policing arrangements. Yet this week when it emerged that the PSNI is deliberately disrupting the inquests into the killings of ten people in Tyrone including that of Roseanne Mallon, Mr. Attwood was unusually quiet. It is clear that the Special Branch which Alex Attwood believes has vanished is still in charge of policy in this area. What other explanation could there be for the PSNI attempting to cover-up collusion. Again Mr. Attwood fell quiet when it emerged that the PSNI attempted to subvert the work of Forensic Scientists in order to secure false convictions.

"These are not the actions of an open and accountable policing service. They are the actions of a force obsessed with secrecy and dominated by the securocrats of the RUC Special Branch.

"The fact of the matter is that Alex Attwood and his party jumped too soon. They made a monumental error which has left the task of creating an acceptable policing service more difficult. That is the reason behind this sort of anti-republican outburst from Mr. Attwood.

"However, we are determined that the promise of the Good Friday Agreement will be delivered and that an acceptable, accountable policing service will be created and that the power for policing and justice will be transferred to the Assembly. That has consistently been our focus over the past number of years and attacks from Mr. Attwood will not deflect us from that task."ENDS

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