West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin MLA slams police and PPS over Easter Lily charges

Published: 14 February, 2013

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has slammed the PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service for bringing him and fellow party activist Kevin McColgan to court over the distribution of Easter Lilies outside the Tyrone v Monaghan game at Healy Park last Easter Sunday.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

"This was a ludicrous charge that should never have been brought before the court in the first place.

"Unfortunately I can only conclude that there was politics at play in the decision to bring these charges.

"People are very angry about this case and many are contrasting our treatment with the hands-off approach taken towards flag protestors who have been disrupting our town and other parts of the six counties since before Christmas. "I completely fail to see how the public interest has been served in this case. The court costs along with the PSNI bill will run into thousands of pounds, all at the taxpayers expense.

'Easter Sunday takes place on 31st March this year and as Irish Republicans this court case will not deter us from distributing the Easter Lily and wearing it in honour of Ireland's patriot dead.

"Repressive measures did stop previous generations of Republicans from wearing the Lily and we will not let a few small minded PSNI officers or the foolishness of the PPS stop us now."