” I BELIEVE THEY ARE BEING PRESSURISED BY UNIONIST POLITICIANS TO GET ARRESTS IN THIS GROUP AND THEY ARE CAVING IN UNDER THE PRESSURE ” – Sean Hanna.
THE chairman of a nationalist residents ‘ group questioned by police over an alleged breach of a Parades Commission determination has accused the PSNI of ” caving in ” to pressure from unionist politicians.
Police interviewed Rasharkin Residents ‘ Collective chairman Sean Hanna last week about alleged breach’s of the determination linked to an Apprentice Boys parade through the mainly nationalist village during the summer. Residents held a protest when the parade was going through the Co Antrim village on August 17. ” It was political policing,” Mr Hanna said. ” I believe they [ the PSNI ] are being pressurised by unionist politicians to get arrests in this group and they are caving in under the pressure.” It is understood police also want to speak to at least six other people connected with the Rasharkin Residents ‘ Collective. Mr Hanna said police had accused him of walking through a so-called sterile zone they put in place to separate protesters and marchers ahead of the August parade. The residents ‘ spokesman said he had entered the zone only after police had blocked the route of nationalist protesters who were trying to make their way to the designated protest site in the Sunnyside Drive area of the village. Mr Hanna’s solicitor Seamus Delaney said his client had attended the police interview voluntarily. ” CCTV was viewed during the course of the interview and failed to disclose any offences by Mr Hanna,” he said. ” The PSNI also claimed during the interview that the investigation was initiated on the direction of the Parades Commission. ” Whilst not only were there no breaches of the determination by Mr Hanna, we have requested that the PSNI review the Parades Commission determination in respect of the allegation they have levelled against him and furthermore we are also seeking clarification in respect of who initiated the investigation against Mr Hanna.