“community punishment”?

Those “threats from the past” were evidenced today at the west Belfast New Barnsley Police Station where a “coffee jar bomb” was found after a security alert. Meanwhile, in Strabane, where police patrols were attacked at the weekend amidst a number of alerts, including one near a Sinn Féin office in Cookstown – and other sectarian attacks elsewhere – the Sinn Féin chairman of Strabane District Council, Cllr Jarlath McNulty, has criticised police for being “heavy-handed and cavalier”. He also claimed they had subjected residents to ‘policing akin to the “worst excesses of the RUC during the 1980s and early 1990s”‘ and of imposing “community punishment”. His party colleague, Cllr Brian McMahon, has also claimed officers had displayed a “hostile approach” towards residents. Of the two, Cllr McMahon was one of the few Strabane Sinn Féin councillors who did take a seat on the local DPP. Cllr McNulty declined at the time – without censure from his party, as Fermanagh Cllr Bernice Swift pointed out. Perhaps that’s an area for the new Process™ to consider..