Saturday 20 January 2018

Sinn Fein accused of hypocrisy over station closures

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

SINN Fein has been accused of hypocrisy for opposing the closure of garda stations here -- while shutting down police stations in the North

The Labour Party has said it is another example of the party's policy of taking two completely different positions on an issue, despite its claim to be an "all-Ireland party".

Sinn Fein has warned that garda station closures would result in communities losing "that critically important presence on the ground".

But in the North, where Sinn Fein is in government, the PSNI is going to close 21 out of 82 police stations to save £2m (€2.45m) per year.

But Sinn Fein TDs Pearse Doherty and Padraig Mac Lochlainn are complaining about the closure of garda stations in Donegal.

Labour senator Jimmy Harte has accused Sinn Fein of "hypocrisy" and speaking out of both sides of its mouth.

"Sinn Fein needs to be straight about what policy they have.

"It can't be a 32-county party with two policies," he said.

Sinn Fein justice spokesman Padraig MacLochlainn defended his party by saying that Senator Harte was not comparing "like with like" when discussing station closures in the North and South.

He said that the closure of “highly militarised police stations” in the North was part of security returning to normal under the peace process.

“This is simply an attempt by Senator Harte to divert attention away from his party's failures in Government," he said.

Irish Independent

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