17th June 2003
Ferris to join Dublin Sinn Fein protest at PSNI Gaelic football match
Sinn Fein TD for Kerry North and spokesperson on Sport Martin Ferris described the decision of Kilmacud Crokes GFC to facilitate this evening's match between members of the Oireachtas and the PSNI as ``regrettable and shortsighted''. ``This match sends all the wrong signals and reinforces the lie that the PSNI was the new beginning to policing we had all been promised under the Good Friday Agreement,'' he said.
Deputy Ferris was speaking in advance of a protest being staged by members of Dublin Sinn Fein at the Clubs ground in Stillorgan. Mr. Ferris said it was his intention to join this evening's protest.
The Kerry North TD said: ``I understand that very many members of Kilmacud Crokes were unaware that the PSNI were to play a match there this evening. I also understand there is a feeling amongst some at the Club that they were duped in to allowing the match to take place, believing that it only involved members of the Oireachtas. And while it is unfair to expect any GAA Club to adjudicate over what is a political problem I believe it is a regrettable and shortsighted decision that should be reversed even at this stage.
``This match sends all the wrong signals and reinforces the lie that the PSNI is the new beginning to policing we had all been promised under the Good Friday Agreement. The simple fact of the matter is that the PSNI is not the new beginning to policing promised. We still don't have the accountability and democratic control over the PSNI to ensure that it is a police service to which nationalists can give their allegiance. We still have in place the Special Branch, which was responsible for controlling and directing unionist death squads as they went about their business of murdering nationalists unhindered.
``Sinn Fein wants a policing service for all the people of the Six Counties. The Patten proposals were the blueprint for that service. Patten itself was a compromise - it represented the very minimum required to get a truly representative and accountable policing service. No amount of spin or PR exercises can change that fact.
``Jimmy Deenihan and the other members of the Oireachtas who plan to take part in this game need to reflect long and hard on the damage they are doing, to getting the full implementation of Patten, by engaging in this sham.''
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