[Sinn Fein]

5th February 2002

Sinn Fein response to Policing Board meeting with O'Loan and Flanagan

Sinn Fein Policing Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has responded to today's meetings between the Policing Board and Nuala O'Loan and Ronnie Flanagan by saying that there can be `no compromise on accountability'.

Mr. Kelly said:

``Some commentators are portraying the Policing Board as a referee in a public dispute between Nuala O'Loan and Ronnie Flanagan. This is misleading. It is not the job of the Policing Board.

``The job of the Policing Board, described by Patten, is to hold Ronnie Flanagan and the policing structures accountable. Some have also said it is the job of the Policing Board to mediate and broker a compromise. There can be no compromise on accountability.

``Nuala O'Loan has made serious allegations about the Special Branch on a wide range of matters but many of which are centered on their rejection of accountability. That is the force within a force referred to by Patten - they have not gone away. This is the substantive question that the Board needs to address and get to the bottom of.''

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