New Plastic Bullets

PRESS RELEASE – 25th April 2001

Taoiseach's condemnation of new "more lethal" plastic bullets welcomed by victims.

Clara Reilly, chairperson of the Campaign Against Plastic Bullets has
welcomed the statement on plastic bullets by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
He said:

"The Government have grave reservations about the proposed introduction
of a new form of plastic bullet, which can be even more lethal to
certain vulnerable parts of the body like the head. We do not rely on
such methods of control here.

The clear spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and the Patten Report is
that they should be phased out, not renewed or replaced in a different

This clear and unambiguous statement from the Irish government is a
very encouraging development in what has been a very difficult number
of weeks following the announcement of the introduction of a new
plastic bullet.

We are dismayed that Security forces are still resorting to plastic
bullets as an option of first resort when dealing with crowds such as
in Lurgan last night. The introduction of a new bullet must be seen in
that light.

It has not escaped the notice of people we work with that last week
riots in England, on a far larger and more destructive scale than what
was witnessed in Lurgan last night went policed without plastic
bullets. Quite rightly no one's life was put at risk in England by
these weapons.

We would encourage the British government and in particular Secretary
of State John Reid to listen to the Irish Taoiseach's advise and start
phasing out these bullets immediately.


Andree Murphy
Relatives for Justice