Other News In Brief

Men Arrested Under Terrorism Act Released Following Questioning

Three men arrested in connection with an anti-terrorism operation have been released following questioning.

The man, aged 40, 59 and 64, were made on Tuesday as part of an investigation in to the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

A number of properties were also searched by detectives from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) the same day.

The police have said the investigation "remains ongoing".

Brandon Lewis Urged Not 'Besmirch Service And Sacrifice'

Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart has pressed the Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis MP, to ensure that the service and sacrifice of the RUC, UDR and all who served "will not be besmirched under the auspices of addressing the legacy of the past".

Referencing the report issued by the Police Ombudsman released in February, whilst speaking in Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons, Mrs Lockhart said: "The sacrifice made by members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC is one which I, and many across Northern Ireland, will never forget. Over 300 officers were killed and almost 9000 injured, mostly at the hands of the IRA.

"A recent report by the Police Ombudsman, laden with innuendo, has caused great hurt and offence amongst former RUC officers, and families of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

"Will the Secretary of State ensure that the service and sacrifice of the RUC will not be allowed to be besmirched under the auspices of addressing the legacy of our past?"

Mrs Lockhart added: "There is palpable anger amongst former RUC officers at the despicable commentary of the Police Ombudsman, particularly the use of the term 'collusive behaviour'.
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"This baseless slur against a force that stood firm against terrorism, and paid such a heavy price with the loss of colleagues, must not become the established narrative around the brave and heroic service of the RUC GC. We know that this is the desire of some, and that they see the processes around the legacy of the past as the vehicle by which to besmirch the service and sacrifice of all those who donned a uniform, and protected democracy in this part of the United Kingdom against the evil actions of terrorists.

"I welcome the Secretary of State’s recognition of the price paid by the RUC GC, but it must go beyond words. We need to see a pro-active countering of this narrative from the Government, not fuelled by public bodies like the Police Ombudsman Office."

Alliance To Take Action On Animal Welfare Issues

Stronger regulations on the legal trade of puppies and improved information sharing would help prevent the exploitation of animals, Alliance South Down Assembly candidate Patrick Brown has said.

Councillor Brown: "I recently brought a motion to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to establish an animal welfare working group for the area and I hope others will follow suit.

"Animal welfare is a vital issue. That’s why Alliance is proposing a series of measures to help strengthen laws and prevent the exploitation of animals. It follows Alliance’s Private Member’s Bill in the last Assembly mandate to attempt and outlaw the hunting of wild mammals with dogs, which was blocked after Sinn Féin and most of the DUP voted against it.

"Greater regulation of the legal puppy trade is one way to do that. We can tighten the rules on legal breeding, transfer powers to local Councils for random inspections and have greater enforcement at ports around trafficking of puppies to Great Britain. In addition, improving information sharing between animal welfare charities and statutory organisations, so those banned from keeping domestic animals are prevented from doing so, would go a long way towards protecting those who are unable to protect themselves."

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