[Sinn Fein]

25th June 2003

O'Loan wrong on Plastic Bullet defence

Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has claimed that the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan was wrong to justify the use of plastic bullets by the PSNI in a report following unionist rioting at Drumcree last year.

Ms Gildernew said:

`` The facts around plastic bullets are very clear. They are lethal weapons and they should not be used - they are not a mechanism of crowd control, they are killer devices.

`` Nuala O'Loan is out of step with international Human Rights opinion in her defence of the use of these weapons in riot or crowd control situations and she is wrong to justify their use.

`` Sinn Fein's position on plastic bullets is well known - we are absolutely opposed to their use and have campaigned for many years on this issue. We have made the issue of the continued use of plastic bullets a crucial part of our discussions with the British government.'' ENDS

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