[Sinn Fein]

13th June 2003

GAA match between TDs and PSNI a grotesque public relations sham - Ferris

Responding to Enda Kenny's comments about Sinn Fein's opposition to the upcoming Gaelic football match between members of the Oireachtas and the PSNI Sinn Fein spokesperson on Sport Martin Ferris TD said:

"Enda Kenny's outburst at Sinn Fein's decision to oppose the upcoming football match between the PSNI and members of the Oireachtas I believe reflects the embarrassment and unease that Jimmy Deenihans premature actions in arranging the game have caused his Party at a national and local level.

"As the largest party in the Six Counties representing nationalists and republicans I believe Sinn Fein is in better position than most to understand and to appreciate nationalists ongoing concerns about the PSNI. It is because we have taken our responsibilities seriously that we are not now about to settle for something that falls far short of what was required in relation to achieving a fully representative and accountable policing service, as envisaged in Patten.

"Sinn Fein is determined to ensure and we know that our position will be instrumental in bringing about the conditions which will lead to the creation of an inclusive and representative policing service. Unfortunately the SDLP jumped too soon, as they did in Weston Park. They have settled for less than the nationalist people are entitled to. It would appear that Fine Gael and Enda Kenny are also prepared to settle for less than what is a fundamental right.

"The proposed match is nothing more than a grotesque public relations sham which seeks to legitimise a police force that remains unreformed and still contains the human rights abusers and their bosses who colluded with and directed loyalist death squads to murder the likes of Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson. While others may be prepared to settle for a second rate police service Sinn Fein will not."

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