Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Fundamental policing problem to be raised at Ombudsman meeting

4 July, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member John O'Dowd will lead a party delegation to meet with the Police Ombudsman tomorrow morning (Wednesday 5th July) at 10am at her Belfast offices.

The meeting which is at Sinn Féin's request is to call for a Police Ombudsman investigation into Friday nights joint PSNI/LVF operation in Lurgan town centre to erect loyalist flags.

Speaking today Mr O‚Dowd said:

"Since Friday night Sinn Féin have been inundated with complaints from local nationalists angry both at the erection of the flags and the PSNI role in this.

"I will be asking the Police Ombudsman to carry out a full investigation into the actions of the PSNI on Friday evening and I will provide video evidence to back up our complaint.

"There is clearly a fundamental policing problem in the Lurgan area. Over the weekend scores of local people witnessed the PSNI operation and then again on Saturday evening attacks on Catholic homes on the Antrim Road were ignored. In both cases the PSNI lied to the media and claimed to be caught in the middle of sectarian violence.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality remains that the PSNI very clearly allied themselves, not for the first time, with prominent unionist paramilitary figures in the town. Their actions expose in very stark terms the folly of the SDLP in telling local nationalists to join and support this force." ENDS

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