[Sinn Fein]

9th June 2003

Planned Oireachtas GAA match against PSNI should be abandoned - Ferris

The  Sinn  Fein spokesperson on Sport, Martin Ferris TD has called for a  Gaelic football  match between members of the Oireachtas and a team from the PSNI to be abandoned.   Deputy  Ferris  was  responding  to  plans by fellow Kerry TD Jimmy Deenihan  to  organise a match to be held at the Kilmacud Crokes pitch in Dublin next Tuesday, June 17.

Deputy Ferris said:

``It is entirely inappropriate for TDs and Senators to take part in such an event at  this  point  in  time. The excerpts from the Stevens Report which detail the appalling  level  of  complicity  on  the part of the RUC/PSNI in the murders of nationalists  prove  that  until there is proper reform of the police in the Six Counties  they  should  not  be granted the kind of respectability which such an event would confer.

``Apart  from  that,  members of the PSNI and the British Army continue to harass members and supporters of the GAA who are taking part in Association activities. Indeed  the  most  glaring  example  of  this  continues  to be the constant and intrusive  overflights  and  British  troop  movements  around  the GAA pitch in Crossmaglen.   Until  such  interference  ceases,  and until there is a properly reformed  and  acceptable police force in the Six Counties it is not appropriate that  the  GAA  and  its  facilities  should  be  used  to promote the premature rehabilitation of the PSNI''. ENDS

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