Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

So now I’m suing, now I’m not…

Thu 27 February 2014, 10:43pm

This, for the record, is one of the oddest stories I’ve seen since I started blogging on Northern Ireland. Here, without further comment is Gerry Kelly explaining his decision to withdraw his legal action against the Chief Constable of the PSNI, three days after announcing it:

 …on Thursday, the North Belfast MLA said the incident had “unfortunately split opinion into two camps of unionist versus nationalist alongside elements in the media reducing the issue to one of money”.

“Issuing the writ seems to have increased local political tension and created an unwanted diversion from more pressing issues. So, in this instance I have decided not to pursue the case.”

#WeveNotTalkedAboutAnythingElse #Laugh #Cry #TakeYourPick?

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Comments (17)

  1. son of sam (profile) says:

    The great Groucho comes to mind—-”These are my principles;if you don’t like them,I’ve got other ones”!!

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  2. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Sorry Mick,

    But there’s a better quote from Gerry Kelly, MLA, Policing Board member, in the UTV report

    On Thursday, Mr Kelly released a statement, part of which read: “After careful thought I have instructed my solicitor to withdraw the civil writ against the Chief Constable of the PSNI in connection to an incident in Carrick Hill in June 2013. [added emphasis]

    Bit late that “careful thought”…

    Of course, someone may have reminded him that he had accepted an informed warning about the incident – in the process acknowledging that he was in the wrong.

    He could have refused that warning, and had his day in court then. He chose not to.

    Not that any of that has stopped him going on to “set out” “a number of facts about the incident” in his latest statement.

    Where he can’t be cross-examined…

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  3. Flairbatov (profile) says:

    This has become somewhat of a moot point, but I think there’s a misconception that GK was/is automatically barred from bringing a civil action against the Chief Constable because of his acceptance of a formal caution. This isn’t so as he could have received an award of damages that is reduced for contributory negligence to reflect his own misconduct. It is also possible that it may have been determined that he was not guilty of any misconduct in the circumstances despite his acceptance of a warning.

    Whether bringing the action in this political climate is wise not is another matter entirely.

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  4. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Flairbatov

    No-one here is suggesting that he was ‘barred’ from bringing a civil action.

    Here’s what I said in the comment zone of Mick’s earlier post, in response to Megatron

    He, like any citizen, has the right to make any claim he wants to. The courts will decide on the merits of that claim.

    Whether he is wise to do so in the circumstances is another matter entirely.

    Doubly so now…

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  5. Flairbatov (profile) says:

    I was referring to comments that were made in that earlier post, not yours specifically. I agree with what you say, though I don’t think GK’s acceptance of an informed warning would have had greatly affected his prospects of winning the case (though it may have resulted in a reduction in the award)

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  6. iluvni (profile) says:

    He hasn’t pulled out a letter to have that ‘informed warning’ rescinded, has he?

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  7. David Crookes (profile) says:

    You clever boys can rivel and levigate the deed, as Browning says. To a gulpin like me it seems merely that GK has made the quare eejit out of himself.

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  8. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Sorry, I meant C S Calverley in his parody of Browning.

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  9. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Flairbatov,

    It might have affected his prospects of losing the case.

    But we’ll never know now…

    ANYhoo.. I thought it was Caral who was injured during the incident?

    Where’s her claim?

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  10. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    David
    “Sorry, I meant C S Calverley in his parody of Browning.”
    Quite so. I was just about to point that out.
    But I guess flairbatov is right that he could still have made a case even though he did accept his warning.
    As in;
    “Yes I was wrong to burgle that house but the farmer still shouldn’t have shot my foot off with his shotgun”

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  11. Barnshee (profile) says:

    The fact that he could have been “countersued” by the cop in the van might have helped him make up his mind

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  12. Delphin (profile) says:

    I think the most apposite Browning related comment re GK, would be Bang! Bang! Bang!
    At least he retracts his threats to sue, unlike PR who lets them wither on the vine.

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  13. Greenflag (profile) says:

    ‘Now I’m suing now I’m not ‘ Kelly

    ‘Now I’m resigning now I’m not ‘ Robinson

    ‘I’ll never share power now I will ” Paisley ‘

    ‘We’ll go into opposition -no we won’t ‘ (SDLP & UUP)

    ‘If you’re gonna shoot -shoot – If you’re gonna talk -talk ‘?

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  14. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Perhaps its their ages. Gerry and Peter both seem to suffering premature verbal ejaculation

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  15. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Naw – It’s the GFA . The pressure of mandatory power sharing in a complex multi faceted political strait jacket imposed of necessity by the NI political environment and it’s inherent contradictions sectarian and otherwise is the culprit.

    Shure they’d be deserving of our sympathy if we’d any left :( ?

    Still better jaw jaw than war war as has been said elsewhere .

    At least it’s not the Ukraine or Syria or North Korea or Somalia or Central African Republic etc .

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  16. sherdy (profile) says:

    Maybe its an age thing.

    Would the change of life be working on Pete and Gerry?
    If so, I wonder if they compare symptoms.

    David, I think ‘quire eejit’ seems to be a condition of membership of the Stormont asylum.

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  17. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    Maybe Barra let him know he may not get legal aid.

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