[Sinn Fein]

5 March 1999

RUC boxing bout in New York in doubt

Statement from West Belfast Assembly Member, Alec Maskey, describing as, ``welcome'', the news from New York, that the boxing match involving the RUC is now in doubt due to an inability to get a venue for the bout.

Mr. Maskey said:

``The jury on the RUC, the Patten Commission, is still out. It is welcome news that the proposed boxing bout involving the RUC is in doubt. I understand that many respected people in New York have voiced their opposition to this including members of congress.

``The reality that the RUC are a sectarian force guilty of abuse, collusion, shoot to kill, torture and are a serving unionist militia is recognised in New York. That is the background to the opposition in New York. The Good Friday Agreement prescribes a policing service which is `capable of attracting and sustaining support from the community as a whole' and `representative in terms of the make up of the community as a whole. The RUC clearly does not meet these criteria. The RUC is unacceptable to nationalists. A new policing service is required.

``The RUC should not be afforded a mantle of respectability or acceptability in the United States. It is disgraceful that the Garda Síochana have been permitted to do so over a period of several months now in Washington, New York and elsewhere. This should cease.''

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