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Dissidents won't halt recruitment events, declares PSNI chief

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The PSNI has said it will not be deterred from recruitment events after facing a protest from a dissident republican group at an event in Newry over the weekend

The PSNI has said it will not be deterred from recruitment events after facing a protest from a dissident republican group at an event in Newry over the weekend

The PSNI has said it will not be deterred from recruitment events after facing a protest from a dissident republican group at an event in Newry over the weekend

The PSNI has said it will not be deterred from recruitment events after facing a protest from a dissident republican group at an event in Newry over the weekend.

Representatives of Saoradh handed in a letter of protest during the event, held at a Newry arts centre on Friday evening.

Posters highlighting what Saoradh described as the "ongoing abuses carried out by the RUC/PSNI" were also erected in the vicinity of the venue.

"This protest outlined our opposition to a recruitment event for the RUC/PSNI militia that took place this evening," said Saoradh's Newry representative Stephen Murney.

"The letter detailed the reasons behind our opposition, including PSNI links with MI5, house raids, stop and searches, child abuse and the more recent tactic of the Crown Forces using Social Services as a tool of oppression.

"One of our local party activists, who is part of the LGBTQ community, was among those who delivered the letter of protest on behalf of Saoradh which outlines the anger and opposition from victims of state oppression within the republican community."

PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said those behind the protest "have absolutely nothing to offer to Northern Ireland's future".

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"We are committed to being a service that is representative of all of the communities we serve," he said. "Those who would seek to discourage applicants from any community offer absolutely nothing to Northern Ireland's future.

"People interested in a career in policing attended the Newry event despite the protest outside.

"This latest recruitment campaign launched just a few weeks ago and we have already received over 5,000 applications. I would continue to encourage anyone who is interested in a career in policing to attend similar events."

Mr Murney claimed the PSNI reaction to the Saoradh protest had been "farcical".

"As a result of Saoradh handing in this letter, the recruitment event was surrounded by, what can only be described as a ring of steel," he said.

"If joining the RUC/PSNI was an acceptable and 'normal' career choice, then none of the above 'security measures' would have been put in place."


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