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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Irish archbishop condemns intimidation of Catholics on police boards
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¬†In the wake of a number attacks and threats against members of District Policing Partnership Boards in Northern Ireland, Dr SeŠn Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, said in a statement last week: "I want to add my voice to those who have condemned these sinister attempts to rid the DPPs of Catholic representation. Violence and intimidation have no place in a community which believes in freedom and human rights. Attacks on property and threats to people and their families are totally indefensible and must stop immediately. "District Police Partnerships are a central part of building an accountable and representative police service. Those who have joined these boards out of a sense of civic duty deserve our respect and support. "I hope that differences about the future of policing will be worked out through peaceful dialogue and I encourage everyone to play their part in bringing about accountable and representative policing in Northern Ireland." Three DPP members in Northern Ireland resigned last week, following a campaign of intimidation against Catholics. Teresa Rooney, a member of Cookstown DPPB, stood down on Tuesday. Last week an independent nationalist in Fermanagh also resigned following a threat from the Real IRA. On Friday evening, Moya Burns, an independent member of Down district policing partnership, quit because she said she felt unable to continue in the role because of the current situation. The attacks include an arson attack which destroyed a car at the home of Londonderry district policing group member Marian Quin. Mrs Quinn said the police warned her that they had received a threat from the Real IRA that all Catholic members of the DPPB throughout Northern Ireland were what they called "legitimate targets". There was also an attack on a car belonging to a DPP member in Strabane and a hoax bomb left outside the home of a DPP chairman in Tyrone. District policing partnerships were set up across Northern Ireland under reforms initiated by a commission headed by former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten and implemented by the government. The partnerships are made up of councillors and members of the local community, who work alongside the Police Service of Northern Ireland's 29 District Command Units in trying to meet local community policing needs. Sources: Irish Catholic Communications Office; BBC
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