Sinn Fein adamant on policing

Mr Adams said his party was not prepared to ‘‘settle for anything less than the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement’’.

Mr Adams said his party was not prepared to ‘‘settle for anything less than the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement’’.

Sinn Fein, in its manifesto, wanted the police force to be free from ‘‘partisan political control - British or unionist’’.

The party was also calling for a police service which was representative of the community it served, based in the neighbourhoods it served and was culturally neutral.

They also wanted ‘‘special branch and other tools of repression’’ consigned to history and he respected the human rights being placed at the heart of policing police.

He said his party would continue to press for Northern MPs and MLAs to be represented in the Irish parliament.

The party would continue to demand its right to access to House of Commons facilities.

Sinn Fein vice president Pat Doherty called for an all-Ireland approach to health, education, environment, economy and the creation of an all-Ireland constitutional court.

Mr Doherty, who is contesting the key seat of West Tyrone against Ulster Unionist William Thompson and SDLP minister Brid Rodgers, also stressed the importance of ‘‘parity of esteem and equality of treatment for the Irish language, heritage and culture’’.

‘‘The unemployment differential between Catholics and Protestants must be eliminated in line with the promise contained in the Good Friday Agreement.’’

The Sinn Fein manifesto also called for:

:: the banning of plastic bullets used in riots

:: the return of powers from the RUC chief constable and the Northern Ireland Secretary to the Policing Board, District Policing Partnership Boards, the Oversight Commissioner for Police Reform and the Ombudsman in amendments to the Government’s policing legislation for Northern Ireland to ensure democratic accountability

:: the right for nationalist and republican monuments and symbols to be given as equal treatment as unionists’ symbols in public areas, civic buildings, towns and city centres

:: the release of all political prisoners and the removal of all legal, procedural and policy obstacles to full equality for political ex-prisoners

:: the abolition of the 11-plus, with an increase in pre-school provision and a fair and inclusive post-primary school system

:: the harmonisation health service resources on both sides of the Irish border

:: the democratisation of the health service to enable patients, staff organisations and political representatives to play their part in policy, planning and decision making

:: targets and timetables for eliminating unemployment

:: an overhaul of the Civil Service to eradicate ‘‘institutionalised discrimination’’

:: the transformation of the ‘‘war economy’’ in Northern Ireland into a ‘‘productive peace time economy’’

:: investment in and the development of indigenous Irish manufacturing

:: an all-Ireland agricultural strategy recognising the different needs of farm families in different regions

:: the provision of early retirement schemes for farmers and the development of a food safety strategy.

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