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Orde Challenged Over Full Time Reserve

5 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly has branded remarks made by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde saying that he would review the status of the Full Time Reserve pending the outcome of the upcoming marching season as 'at best irresponsible'.

Mr Kelly said:

" At a time when community and political representatives in interface areas across Belfast are working to achieve a quiet summer it is at best irresponsible of Hugh Orde to inject the future of the Full Time Reserve into that equation, given the historic connections between that force and the various unionist paramilitary groups.

" The fact is that this Protestant force should have been phased out before now. If Patten had been implemented as intended we would not be having this debate at this time.

" The Full Time Reserve throughout the past thirty years has been little more than a unionist militia. It has been to the forefront in attacks on the nationalist community. That is why Patten stated that it be done away with within three years.

It is already scandalous that Hugh Orde has been allowed to retain this force up until April 200 six years after Patten. Any extension of this would be totally unacceptable." ENDS

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