War of words over riot claim
COMMENTS made by a senior Lurgan politician have widened the gulf between mainstream and dissident republicans in the area.
Following last Wednesday night's rioting in Drumbeg, Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd said there was a suggestion in the community that some of those involved may be informers or agents.
Refuting the claim, Superintendent Alan McCrum, said: "Nobody is above the law and the police are not protecting informers. Police in Craigavon are seeking to work with the community to get enough evidence to bring people before the courts."
Graffiti appeared in the Kilwilke estate on Thursday night brandishing Mr O'Dowd himself as a PSNI tout.
The sinister graffiti, which was daubed on walls and the middle of a road in orange paint, included a number of cross-hairs beside Mr O'Dowd's name.
According to a caller to the 'MAIL' John O'Dowd's comments have not gone down well in nationalist areas.
Addressing last week's comments Mr O'Dowd reiterated: "What I said was some of those people involved may be agent provocateurs. Like the dissident republican in Antrim (Paddy Murphy) who was spirited out of the country by police for being exactly that."
Responding to allegations that he is a police informer Mr O'Dowd said: "I'm not the one meeting police down dark country roads to pass on information about people who are supposed to be my comrades."
He continued: "Sinn Fein's stance on policing has been made clear. It is the police who need to deal with these people who are working as agents and informers."
The Sinn Fein education spokesperson added: "I don't see the graffiti as a threat. I've been in politics most of my adult life and I've learnt to handle this sort of thing.
"This graffiti has been put up by a group of individuals or one individual who are not representative of the estates in which they live.
"Sinn Fein put its views on policing to the people of Kilwilke, Meadowbrook and Drumbeg. They overwhelmingly endorsed our approach to policing."
Republican Sinn Fin said the irony of labelling people as British agents whilst openly calling on others to inform upon republicans appears to be lost on John O'Dowd.
"It is the Provos who are the agents of British colonial rule in Ireland," the party said in a statement.
"They openly administer English rule from Stormont and demand support for the British forces of occupation.
"The remarks made by John O'Dowd on radio ordering people to pass information on Republicans to the RUC, and demanding that the RUC act on the claims of touts is a sad and disgusting example of the current direction of Provo policy.
"Whilst he and his party make claims that people involved in Republican activity are paid British agents, the fact, of course, is that it is he and his party who are being paid to promote British interests and policy in Ireland."
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Weather for Lurgan
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east