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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 08:57 GMT
SF takes role on policing board
Irish police
Sinn Fein has taken a place on a policing board in the Irish Republic
A Sinn Fein politician has taken an official role on a policing board in the Irish Republic for the first time.

Dublin councillor Larry O'Toole has become vice-chair of the city's joint policing committee.

However, he said his appointment should not be taken as an indication of the party's position on the PSNI.

Meanwhile, a public meeting in west Belfast on Monday night to debate the policing issue was largely opposed to republicans supporting it.

It was attended by some Sinn Fein members and two leading figures from the 32 County Sovereignty committee, a group which has links with the Real IRA.

Sinn Fein's policing spokesman Gerry Kelly said he thought it was a good debate.

"We are dealing with real people here, we are dealing with real issues and the people who spoke, you have to be clear about it - it wasn't just the issue of policing - they were absolutely against the Sinn Fein strategy in its entirety," he said.

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