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Sinn Féin Meet Policing Board Chairperson

16 April, 2007

A Sinn Féin delegation led by the party President Gerry Adams MP and including Assembly member Jennifer McCann, Dublin Mid-West Representative Joanne Spain and the party spokesperson on Policing issues Alex Maskey met with the Chairperson of the Policing Board Des Rea in Stormont this morning.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Adams said that he would propose to the party Ard Chomhairle after the political institutions went live on May 8th that Sinn Féin would participate in the reconstituted Policing Board and DPPs.

Mr Adams said:

"Sinn Fein wants to see accountable policing across this island. That means transparent, robust and democratic accountability mechanisms like the Policing Board for An Garda Siochana as well as the PSNI.

"The decision by the special Ard Fheis in late January was only the start of a process of ensuring that the sort of accountable and representative policing service demanded by the Good Friday Agreement is delivered.

"Today's meeting with Des Rea is another stage in that process. We used today's meeting to discuss in some detail issues such as accountability and the representativeness of the current policing structures, the issue of plastic bullets and collusion.

"The Ard Fheis motion commits Sinn Fein to holding the police to account on the basis of fairness, impartiality and objectivity. That means legitimate criticism and challenge if particular actions by the police do not come up to the mark.

"People across society want a policing service which works with the community in effectively tackling crime. It is the responsibility of politicians and the Policing Board to play their part in ensuring that this public service is delivered.

"Sinn Féin will participate fully in policing structures, including the Policing Board once reconstituted and the DPPs. I will propose that to the Ard Chomhairle as soon as the institutions are re-established.

"Sinn Féin is determined to get policing and justice right. We have been mandated by the Ard Fheis to drive forward this agenda. It is our intention and determination to do that." ENDS

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