Full Statement non Plastic Bullets by RFJ’s chairperson Clara Reilly
RFJ Chairperson and anti-plastic bullet campaigner Clara Reilly has made a direct call on PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton to ‘rid his force of plastic bullets.’
Speaking at the annual vigil in memory of those killed by rubber and plastic bullets the RFJ Chairperson said;
‘These indiscriminate weapons have claimed 17 lives, nine of them school children, disfigured, maimed and injured thousands more.
‘18 years on from the Patten Report on policing reform and 22 years after the first ceasefires and still these lethal weapons remain. It just beggars belief.
‘The use of these weapons has left an awful legacy of loss, grief, and pain that remain to be addressed and which reaches deep into the psyche of this community.
‘The impunity with which rubber and plastic bullets were used requires accountability.
‘This Chief Constable says many fine words about legacy and the need to address the past but the plain reality is these are never matched by action and deed. It oftentimes appears that these set pieces are carefully crafted more for optics and PR than for actual substance and this is extremely hurtful to families. Oftentimes it is the PSNI who are in the way blocking progress on the dealing with the past.
‘The challenge we put to the Chief Constable is to demonstrate beyond the rhetoric by actual deed and action.
‘George Hamilton needs to demonstrate that he is real about meaningful change. This can be best achieved by immediately taking the operational decision to ban once and for all the use of plastic bullets.
‘There is no legitimate position that these weapons should remain. They have no place in our society as we strive to build a better future.’ ENDS