Murney said, “The ability of unionists to erect flags and bunting unhindered outside Newry PSNI barracks is not in the least surprising.
“It is widely acknowledged that flags and bunting are regularly erected outside catholic churches and shops in various towns and villages. Individual catholic homes in unionist areas are also singled out for this treatment.
“On an annual basis, the PSNI not only turn a blind-eye to such behaviour, our party activists and supporters, as well ordinary nationalists, would argue that the PSNI actually facilitates this behaviour.”
Murney, the local spokesperson for the socialist republican party in the Newry area, added, “Our party members can point to numerous incidents in various areas where the PSNI are actually present as the erection of flags and bunting takes place but do nothing except engage in friendly conversations with those responsible.
“It is notable that, despite the clear intent of those behind this annual sectarian ritual to intimidate and provoke nationalists or to deliberately foment and increase tensions within communities, the PSNI merely publicly respond by saying that ‘no crime was committed’.”
Concluding, Murney said, “It is patently obviously to everyone that the PSNI has a long-standing and unwritten corporate policy, inherited from the RUC, which is implemented each July.
“That policy can be summed up as stating such sectarian provocation by unionists is not to be considered as ‘behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace’.”