Reaching agreement: policing

Seán Mac Cárthaigh believes that St Patrick’s day has been set as the unofficial deadline for the successful conclusion of the interparty talks. This would accord with Hillary Clinton’s planned visit to Enniskillen at around that time.

However he also believes that the task of reaching consensus at that time is deeply problematic, particularly with regard to the policing issue:

“The British see the key issue as getting Sinn Fein onto the Policing Board, believing that it would boost nationalist confidence in the PSNI and help propel the IRA towards disbanding. But, while the Irish side also wants Sinn Féin to join the Board, it is focused on making the PSNI behave like a real, impartial police force, not one partial to loyalists.”