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Heavy handed sectarianism from police in Ballymena

28 June, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim Philip McGuigan has again lambasted the heavy handed and sectarian nature of the PSNI in Ballymena towards the Nationalist Community.

His comments come after 3 arrests were made at an Orange Order parade in the town.

Mr McGuigan said:

"It is obvious from the partisan treatment handed out to the Nationalist and Republican community of Ballymena that the PSNI here in Ballymena operate in a sectarian manner. They don?t even try and cover up this fact.

"I will again be contacting the police Ombudsman regarding this operation. I will also be contacting the Irish Government also, as Bertie Ahern's Government have an obligation to protect the rights of Northern Nationalists. I intend to make sure that he fulfils his obligations.

"I will be inviting the Irish Government to send representatives to monitor future sectarian parades in Ballymena and to investigate the abusive pattern of policing.

Mr McGuigan also said it was about time the Parades Commission made a determination banning what he called 'sectarian and triumphalist parades' from the Nationalist North end of the town.

"These parades are unwelcome here by the residents who live in this part of Ballymena. It is simply not good enough that the parades commission and the PSNI are cheerleaders for sectarianism." ENDS

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