“David Ford’s department is like Jurassic Park.”

Apparently, according to BBC NI’s Martina Purdy, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, MLA, Northern Ireland Junior Minister Policing Board member, gave “a fiery speech on the Police Ombudsman” at the party’s ard fheis at the weekend.  It’s not listed in the party’s collection…

[Added by AlaninBelfast …]

In the Irish News today, Diana Rusk says he went “off script” when telling the Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, that he “must face down the dinosaurs” in the PSNI.  Being “off script” might explain why Gerry Kelly seems to have borrowed his party colleague, and noted plagiarist, Raymond McCartney’s punch-line in his “keynote address”.

Our strategy for transforming justice and policing in the six counties is working

Just look at the carnival of reaction around us.

Without transfer of powers on policing and justice, there would be no Justice Committee in the local Assembly.

We wouldn’t have the chance this week, to question the Police Ombudsman about his role in this scandal.

We wouldn’t have a Minister for Justice to answer for the complicity of officials in his new Department in a sabotage campaign against the Office of the Police Ombudsman.

David Ford’s department is like Jurassic Park. It is full of the dinosaurs and relics of an old order. The Minister needs to be more than a spokesman for the department.

I think “the complicity of officials in his new Department in a sabotage campaign against the Office of the Police Ombudsman” is a reference to Tony McCusker’s finding that

The question of the Senior Director of Investigations being party to a controversial note prepared by DFP consultants which was then referenced in a subsequent grievance case taken against the Chief Executive, is a serious cause for concern.

Which would be a bit of a stretch.

But, if Sinn Féin aren’t happy with David Ford as Northern Ireland Justice Minister then they, and the DUP, can always find someone else to agree on…

They, both parties, have to agree on someone by 1 May 2012.

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  • HeinzGuderian

    I would very much like to take on that role myself !!

  • Crubeen

    Mein General,

    Anybody at all would be better than the current Model T occupant of the svivel chair at the DOJ – I’ll bet it also rocks and reclines … which might account for the somewhat somnambulent air of all press releases and other outpourings. Small wonder the Shinners and the DUPEs like the current incumbent for the alliance means that nothing of consequence ever does, or will emanate from that body. At least not whilst certain people can influence those who are supposed to keep watch on it … even if, and perchance, even when somebody goes off track and actually speaks the truth … however unpleasant the truth teller may be to some persons!

    Could not your extensive talents be better employed elsewhere to better advantage of yourself and the citizenry at large? I would surely hate to see your great talents masked by the Spinners of the DOJ.

  • Pete – embedded the audio for you … it was as easy to record the whole ard fheis as pick out which bits to tape!!

  • DC

    Gerry Kelly is hardly in the blush of youth himself.

  • Pete Baker


    In future I would appreciate it if you would let me know in advance before you intend to edit my posts.

  • Discourtesy, indeed.

  • Pete – sorry. Also sorry that to add insult to injury I’ve just had to re-edit to switch the clip to an audioboo to save bandwidth … who would have thought Barry McElduff filling in a few minutes before Gerry got up to speak would be so popular! Off to find sackcloth …

  • PaulT

    “They, both parties, have to agree on someone by 1 May 2012.”

    Are you sure?

    I thought the deadline referred to putting in place permanent rules for selecting (and removing) a Justice minister and a review of the operation of the department. Not physically selecting a new minister by that date.

    Isn’t that what the ‘sunset clause’ was all about?

    In which case Gerry Kellys speech makes sense.

  • HeinzGuderian

    The courts dispense the justice and the police do the policing.
    Why do we need a Minister at all ? 😉

  • Old Mortality

    Rather ungracious of him not to congratulate Ford on seeing off the legal aid barons’ rebellion. Could it be that Sinn Fein have mixed feelings on this matter?

  • Thanks for the Gerry Kelly link, Alan. Perhaps you should have stored it online and linked to it via the comment zone. Slugger, at times, suffers from a deficit of primary sources in the opening threads. When I was researching the Ó Muilleoir story I found very useful material in the comment zone.

  • nemesis2

    If DOJ is Jurassic PArk, what is SF? Still in the cretaceous period?

  • granni trixie

    Pete: lets get real here. Think everyone would agree that DOJ is the ‘biggest’ ministry and that most elements in the system were in need of drastic reform. A lesser person than DF could not have made the most of this relatively short term in office to do so. If he had not analysed what needed doing ad hit the ground running this could have been a disaster (think education reforms,think Catrina).

  • Comrade Stalin


    It would be nice for those moaning “the DoJ is shit and nothing gets done” to explain exactly what sort of reforms they’d like to see.

    There is definitely a general problem with our administration, collectively, in that there’s a distinct lack of radicalism. Compare with, say, the agenda of the devolved Scottish administration. FFS, we haven’t even got a PfG yet – I’d have thought that’d be the first order of business.