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Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK

UK: Northern Ireland

Remember RUC fallen says priest

RUC victims needed more recognition by Patten - Faul

A prominent Catholic clergyman has said proposals to change the name and badge of the Royal Ulster Constabulary failed to do enough to respect the memory of murdered members of the force.

Monsignor Denis Faul described proposals contained in Chris Patten's controversial report on the future of policing in Northern Ireland as unnecessarily hurtful to the victims and relatives of those killed and injured in the RUC.

"It should have paid more specific tribute to the 302 men and women of the RUC who were murdered and the eight or nine thousand who were seriously injured," he said.

"It should have made a more explicit commentary on that great loss because these people were killed defending the Protestant and Catholic community.

Gestures should be made

"I think, however, that certain gestures should be made to the memory of people who died - people who lost their loved ones would like to feel they weren't forgotten."

The Carrickmore, Co Tyrone parish priest stressed his support for the Patten report and urged young Catholics to join the RUC and new police service when it comes into being.

[ image: Mgr Denis Faul: supports two names for new police service]
Mgr Denis Faul: supports two names for new police service
Monsignor Faul has also proposed that the new police force retains the RUC name alongside the proposed Northern Ireland Police Service.

In the past, he has written about alleged RUC and British Army execesses. He has also criticised the IRA for its violence.

Meanwhile, the Patten proposals were described as a failure by United Kingdom Unionist Party leader Robert McCartney MP.

Speaking at a public meeting in Fermanagh, the North Down MP said the report by the former Hong Kong governor had failed to gain widespread support throughout Northern Ireland.

"The remit in the Belfast Agreement required Patten to ensure that policing arrangements are such that Northern Ireland has a police service which can enjoy widespread support from the community as a whole.

"The purpose of this entire campaign should be to demonstrate in the clearest possible way that the reforms offered in the Patten report have no possibility whatsoever of receiving such support."

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