[Sinn Fein]

22 January 1997

The real Ronnie Flanagan stands up

Sinn Fein's Northern Chairperson Gearoid O hEára commenting on Ronnie Flanagan's rejection of recommendations governing the use of plastic bullets said:

``The real Ronnie Flanagan has now emerged from behind the facade of the conciliator which he worked so hard to project. His refusal to accept even the most anaemic of recommendations to curb the use of these lethal weapons shows exactly where Ronnie Flanagan is coming from.

``His claim that the RUC only use these weapons as a last resort will be taken with a very big pinch of salt by the Nationalist community. Ever since plastic bullets and their forerunner, rubber bullets, were introduced here, they have been reserved almost exclusively for the Nationalist community by this bigoted paramilitary force.

``Ronnie Flanagan, by his rejection of these recommendations today shows that like his predecessors he intends to follow a policy of repression and maximum force against anyone who dares to protest against discrimination and injustice.

``He has proved once more that the RUC will not accept reform and must be disbanded to make way for an acceptable policing service.''

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