Here’s an interesting report from the Sunday World, transcribed on Newshound. It starts by noting complaints from some parents in the Derrybeg Estate, Newry, that they were misled by Sinn Féin into sending their children on a PSNI sponsored trip.
A mother-of-two told Sunday World: “Sinn Féin members knocked doors asking if we wanted to send our kids on a two-day trip to Co Tyrone. They didn’t tell us the PSNI was helping fund it.
“I was suspicious and refused but other parents who didn’t know the cops were among the sponsors agreed. Some are now furious. We don’t want our kids connected to a police force which is still raiding homes and harassing people.”
Parents in the republican Carnagat and Mourneview Park areas also complained to Sunday World. Independent republican councillor Davy Hyland said: “Parents were misled into letting their children attend a PSNI-sponsored event. Many wouldn’t have allowed it had they been aware who was behind it.”
Meanwhile, as the report goes on to note, in
the Independent Republic of west Belfast they’re not complaining about the recent developments
West Belfast mother-of -three, Mairead Maguire, said: “The police came to the Teddy Bears’ picnic [at the West Belfast festival]. Of every group there, they were the most popular.
“All the kids wanted to sit in the police cars, Landrovers and motorbikes. They were tooting horns and flashing sirens and blue lights. The PSNI couldn’t have been nicer. Neither parents nor children showed them any hostility.”
Maguire said it was a welcome break from the past: “Sinn Féin controls our area and this event couldn’t have happened without their support. For years, they wouldn’t let us talk or deal with police.
“That’s completely changed and it’s better late than never. We’re becoming a normal society like any other part of the UK.” [added emphasis]