Anti PSNI leaflets linked to school's police station visit
LEAFLETS distributed by hardline republicans in Co Tyrone urging nationals to reject the PSNI have been criticised.
It is claimed thousands of the A5 colour leaflets were placed on vehicles outside Catholic churches across parts of Co Tyrone by members of Saoradh last weekend.
It is understood the flyers were produced in response to plans by a Catholic secondary school in the county to bring children to a PSNI station next week.
The decision to place the leaflets at church property was taken after Catholic primate archbishop Eamon Martin encouraged young people to consider a career in the PSNI in a message included in parish newsletters in the Dioceses of Armagh and Dromore last month.
Saoradh, which says it has been contacted by parents, wrote to the school several weeks ago and is considering the possibility of holding a picket outside the PSNI station the school is due to attend.
SDLP assembly member and Stormont justice committee member Patsy McGlone last night said people have voted to accept policing.
“The people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly voted for the Good Friday Agreement and included in that were changes to policing,” he said.
The MLA said those behind the leaflets “should respect the mandate from the people of Ireland and respect the need for proper policing”.
He added that “we know the need for police to attend schools to advise youngsters of the horror of addiction, stranger danger and internet abuse to give but a few examples”.
One of the leaflets carried the message: “It is Saoradh’s view that schools should be a neutral learning environment, a safe haven. Somewhere where our children should be able to go to learn and grow.
“Not a place where gunmen, some of which have stopped and searched the same children under so called anti-terror laws, are free to be invited without public consent or consideration.”