Northern Ireland news

Concern raised over PSNI comments made by Archbishop Eamon Martin

Archbishop Eamon Martin
Connla Young

The daughter of a man killed by the Glenanne Gang has voiced concern after the leader of the Catholic church in Ireland encouraged young people to consider a career in the PSNI.

Archbishop Eamon Martin made the call in a message included in parish newsletters in the Dioceses of Armagh and Dromore ealier this month.

Mid Ulster Aontú councillor Denise Mullen has expressed concern at the intervention.

Her father Denis, a member of the SDLP, was shot dead by the Glenanne Gang at their home near Moy in September 1975.

In the past the relatives of some victims have voiced concern about the PSNI's approach to the case.

Last year the Court of Appeal rejected an appeal by former PSNI chief constable George Hamilton against a 2017 judgment that the police's failure to conduct an overarching examination of state collusion with the Glenanne Gang was inconsistent with its human rights obligations.

The PSNI later announced it would set up an independent probe.

Former English police chief Jon Boutcher confirmed the terms of reference for a major review into the activities of the gang, which included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF.

Ms Mullen said said Archbishop Martin has “failed to speak against the PSNI” in the past.

“My belief is that politics and religion don’t mix,” she said.

And she claimed: “This is not about support for the PSNI, it’s about church authorities taking a one-sided approach to the conduct of the PSNI.”

In the newsletter, Archbishop Martin said: “I encourage the very best of our young people to seriously consider a career in the police.

“Help to shape the future of policing here and serve your community with generosity, concern, respect and courage.”

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