Sinn Fein must back the police

The Irish News, by far the largest nationalist newspaper in Northern Ireland has used its editorial to call on Sinn Fein unambiguously back the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Something the party has refused to do until such times as the British government devolves power over policing to local political control.

  • Henry94

    The Irish News, by far the largest nationalist newspaper in Northern Ireland has used its editorial to call on Sinn Fein, by far the largest nationalist party, unambiguously back the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

  • seabhac siulach

    Ridiculous…we nationalists/republicans are supposed to support the police at a time when they are busy stitching up republicans for the Northern Bank robbery left right and centre and when they continuously fail to protect isolated catholics in Antrim…
    Show us that the PSNI has reformed first, support for it can then come later. Did someone mention the Patten reforms being implemented in full first??
    The Irish News – a mouthpiece for the more supine nationalism as spouted by the Stoop Down Lows…

  • The Stoop News can say what it likes

    Sinn Féin will not be making the same mistakes in regard to Policing that the SDLP made.

    When we have a new start to Policing then Republicans will come on board but not until then.

  • joc

    SS – just suppose the recent charges do actually lead to convictions…….

  • Brian Boru

    I agree. SF should join the Policing-Board. I fail to understand why they are prevaricating on this issue. Maybe they don’t want their base to feel they are selling-out or something. However they have signed up in the GFA to tolerate partition until/unless a majority in NI vote to end it. As such, they might as well support the police unless they want NI to become a lawless society.

  • seabhac siulach

    joc

    I confidently expect that they will all be released…the case against them is mighty flimsy and circumstantial…(although with non-jury courts anything is possible, here as in Columbia!).
    It has more than a whiff about it of the Stormont ‘spy-ring’ and the Castlereagh ‘break-in’ nonsense.
    Oh, there might be convictions, but they will likely be for things not directly related to the robbery, e.g., possession of papers likely to be of use to terrorists (e.g., a school atlas, or a piece of paper with Paisley’s name and address written on it, dangerously subversive things like that)…the usual malarky. As I said before sometime, the PSNI should be renamed the P.R.-NI, as public relations is all they are remotely good at…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    SF/IRA will sit on policing boards when they believe it is politically expedient for them to do so. I am so weary and bored of this topic, as the outcome is so predictable…

  • stu

    seabhac siulach

    ‘…(although with non-jury courts anything is possible, here as in Columbia!).
    It has more than a whiff about it of the Stormont ‘spy-ring’ and the Castlereagh ‘break-in’ nonsense…’

    What’s that? Securocrats? Themmuns…

    Sinn Fein not sitting on the policing board is basically saying that it is ok to disregard the rule of law here. It is not for Sinn Fein to decide if the police is reformed sufficiently for their tastes, they, as Brian mentioned, signed up to the GFA. Implementation of Patten in its enitirety is subject to a normalisation of the policing situation here; read the document.

  • Yer Woman

    But by encouraging young Republicans from within their own communities to join the Police force, what ever corrupt proccedures or practices that the PSNI still continue to adhere to can be changed – FROM WITHIN!!!!.

  • stu

    Yer Woman-

    Perhaps that what they’re afraid of. Not that the Sinn Fein has ever discouraged any Catholics from joining the police. And the IRA never killed any Catholic policemen.

    If young republicans/nationalists joined the police it would get harder and harder to trot out the securocrat line. Maybe that’s one part of the agenda.

  • seabhac siulach

    stu

    “Implementation of Patten in its enitirety is subject to a normalisation of the policing situation here”

    – is that not a ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’ situation, in that implementation of Patten would bring normalisation?

    By ‘normalisation of the policing situation here’, they surely meant a situation where the police no longer needed to be supported by the army…no more than that…that is clearly the situation now (except maybe for S.Armagh).

    What about also getting Stormont up and running first, that little something the DUP is frustrating at the moment (even in the face of obvious provo-IRA inaction and virtual disbandment)?

    If devolution can wait for the say-so of the DUP, then surely policing normalisation can wait for the say-so of Sinn Fein?

    As it is, we must wait for the IMC report in January to confirm what we all already know and THEN wait (how long, 6 months, 1 year?) for the DUP to accept Sinn Fein into Stormont.
    The truth is that the GFA agreement is hardly in force if Stormont is not up and running so it is a bit silly to ask Sinn Fein to adide by its
    strictures anyway…

    “What’s that? Securocrats? Themmuns…”
    There is plenty of evidence to show that the Stormont ‘spy-ring’, as one example, was nothing of the sort…one man was convicted for (and I may be wrong here) having papers of use to terrorists in his house…nothing to do with Stormont at all…they were found in his house.
    This is all verifiable fact. The raid was orchestrated by the then unreformed Special Branch to embarass Orde, if I remember rightly…

  • Conor

    Stu,
    altough i dont like doing this, as im a republican myself, i must correct you on ‘the IRA never killed any Catholic policemen’. thats wrong. i know of one particular case in the mid 90’s when a lone IRA man shot a Catholic RUC man in the head on a busy day on Shipquay Street, Derry. mistaken identity maybe but still.

    Remember Sammy Devenney. RIP

  • irishman

    Mick

    Hardly news is it? The Irish News has been saying this for years now. It’s status as the largest ‘nationalist newspaper’ hasn’t succeeded in dussuading an ever-increasing % of the nationalist electorate from swinging behind Sinn Fein, so I doubt this call will have much impact.

  • stu

    seabhac siulach –

    ‘This is all verifiable fact. The raid was orchestrated by the then unreformed Special Branch to embarass Orde, if I remember rightly…

    Aye. Special Branch thought it would be funny. So funny, in fact, that when it was taken before the SoS, he laughed so hard at the baseless accusations, he suspended Stormont anyway.

    ‘- is that not a ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’ situation, in that implementation of Patten would bring normalisation? ‘

    No. That’s a silly post and I’m amazed you
    expect it to be taken seriously. The situation of the police now is that they are as close to normal as is prudent, given NI’s history of public order.

    ‘By ‘normalisation of the policing situation here’, they surely meant a situation where the police no longer needed to be supported by the army…no more than that…that is clearly the situation now (except maybe for S.Armagh).’

    Tell that to the police in North Belfast who have to drive in armoured Landrovers and wear fireproof gear for their own protection.

    ‘If devolution can wait for the say-so of the DUP, then surely policing normalisation can wait for the say-so of Sinn Fein? ‘

    I’m so grateful to Sinn Fein for ending a quarter century of senseless struggle against my countrymen that I’ll overlook the themmuns here again. And anyway, you said above that police was normal here, now it can’t be without SF’s say-so? That’s a bit muddled. My point is that Sinn Fein are in a position where, as a political party, they have a responsibilty to their constituents, including on public safety. Without them on the policing board, it can be seen as a green light by republicans to ignore the rule of law.

  • seabhac siulach

    Stu

    “Aye. Special Branch thought it would be funny. So funny, in fact, that when it was taken before the SoS, he laughed so hard at the baseless accusations, he suspended Stormont anyway.”

    I always thought that the suspension of Stormont was a political decision to save Trimble’s bacon at the time but then maybe I am too much of a cynic…no doubt Stormont was collapsed because a piece of paper was found in a man’s house…much more likely. And, anyway, we all know that SoSs are above suspicion when it comes to dirty tricks…as if, the very thought, that an English minister would be involved in some dirty sneaky underhand dealings? Never…I am sure it has never happened in the six counties, not the once…

    “Tell that to the police in North Belfast who have to drive in armoured Landrovers and wear fireproof gear for their own protection.”

    Okay normal, apart from N.Belfast and S.Armagh. Now can we have Patten?

    “I’m so grateful to Sinn Fein for ending a quarter century of senseless struggle against my countrymen that I’ll overlook the themmuns here”

    Let me say that this ‘themmuns’ crap, for want of a better word, is destroying debate on this site…just because I make a valid contrary point about the DUP does not mean that I am engaging in meaningless commentary. The truth is that without Stormont this demand for Sinn Fein to engage with the police comes across as mere political gesturing. Which is more important, the setting up of Stormont or the pressuring of Sinn Fein? It seems at the moment it is the pressuring of Sinn Fein…it will not make them accept policing any quicker, only the implementation of the GFA in its entirety will do that…which is dependent on the DUP…

  • G1973

    Conor,

    “mistaken identity maybe but still

    I see, so the SF/IRA only murdered ‘legitimate’ targets as they called them if they were Prods?

  • stu

    SS-

    Agreed about themmuns, it’s a convenient line used too often to escape debate. However, since on old Slugger I had a whole line of ‘themmuns’ fired at me in one thread I’ve taken the path of avoiding it and trying to stamp it out completely. If everyone can agree to point criticism at a particular group constructively, and not engage in whataboutery, we could get it going again, and I’ll be glad, because I think in some situations themmuns really are to blame, it just depends where you (and where others assume you) draw your lines.

    ‘…an English minister would be involved in some dirty sneaky underhand dealings? Never…I am sure it has never happened in the six counties, not the once…”

    He knew full well the implications of his actions. I don’t trust politicians in general, but I think given the implications of the proroguement it had solid base of evidence.

    ‘it will not make them accept policing any quicker, only the implementation of the GFA in its entirety will do that..’

    This is my point. Sinn Fein has a responsibility to be on the policing board, regardless of the status of the GFA (and their alleged involvement in the downfall of the power-sharing provided under it), because being off it says that they don’t support the police. Not supporting the police means it’s ok to disrespect the rule of law. I want to see Stormont up and running. I’d really like to have a say in the running of this place, or at least have it run closer to home. But what I really want is for the law to be respected. What use is it passing devolved legislation if portions of the community are represented by a party that refuses to support the police that enforce said legislation?

  • seabhac siulach

    Stu

    “What use is it passing devolved legislation if portions of the community are represented by a party that refuses to support the police that enforce said legislation?”

    Those ‘portions of the community’ are as much as or over 25% of it…and a majority of nationalists…so not portions at all…but sizeable chunks!!
    In this respect, Sinn Fein are only doing what their electorate expect of them and the reason they voted for them, i.e., holding out for the best deal possible and full implementation of the GFA. In that devolved legislation you mention there just will need to be provision for policing to be administered locally…it’s very simple…
    Perhaps they can synchronize Sinn Fein acceptance of the police with a simultaneous setting-up of the Assembly…something like that…
    I would imagine that Sinn Fein may accept the policing arrangement as they are once Stormont is set up…despite what they say now or said previously…

    About the SoS collapsing Stormont, it was a calculated risk done to shore up Trimble’s support at the time. Calculated in that,they had to guess Sinn Fein’s possible reaction…
    It was done for no other reason but political expediency. Do you think politicians are so high-minded, so pure? Where was the ‘solid evidence’ that led to the fall of Stormont? It did not appear in court, no one was charged and no evidence of Sinn Fein’s activities were ever released…
    Strange that. As the govt., you would imagine would do all in its power to blacken Sinn Fein, if it could.
    The assembly was sacrificed because they (the UK govt.) saw an opportunity given by the actions of the police. Then, as now, the UK govt. would prefer to deal with the slightly less hardline UUP than with the DUP and so did everything in their power to shore up Trimble’s position vis-a-vis hardliners in his own party. They got him out of the ‘weak’ position he was in, that of having to actually talk and engage with mere republicans in Stormont.

  • GavBelfast

    Conor, I suggest you re-read Stu’s contribution of 5.28pm, I think you have the wrong end of the stick.

    However, in your misreading of Stu’s jist, your statements, if typical, are illuminating.

  • PaddyReilly

    I repeat the point I made in my last post.

    The fundamental flaw, the undemocratic basis of the constitution of NI is that one side, the Unionist, has until now had a monopoly of border drawing, and uniquely enjoyed the power of seceding within borders of their own making. This according of a right to one side which is denied to the other violates the terms of the European Convention of Human Rights, the GFA and also the Human Rights Act.

    The only way to restore proper balance in the context of the continuation of the 6 county state is for the right of creating county boundaries be vested in the Nationalist side, to compensate them for the fact that Unionists have a monopoly of state boundary drawing. Using this right, the Nationalist side can create a province which is almost entirely Nationalist controlled at local government level, the only remaining Unionist controlled areas being SE Antrim & NE Down.

    If the police are controlled by local government, as they are in Great Britain, then Nationalists will have a small chance of getting fair play from them. Nor will Unionsists be disadvantaged, since police actions will be monitored by the state.

    Thus Sinn Féin are right to demand local control as a precondition for their participation.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    STU: “Sinn Fein not sitting on the policing board is basically saying that it is ok to disregard the rule of law here. It is not for Sinn Fein to decide if the police is reformed sufficiently for their tastes, they, as Brian mentioned, signed up to the GFA. Implementation of Patten in its enitirety is subject to a normalisation of the policing situation here; read the document.”

    The security services of NI, by turning over sensitive information to Unionist paramilitaries, is basically saying it is ok to disregard the rule of law here. It is not for the PSNI or any other security apparatus to decide to play intelligence brack for the Unionist street thugs, especially in light of the GFA. They have made it amply apparent that they have not reformed. They have made it readily apparent that the police and security apparatus are still in need of desperate reform. Read the news.

  • Mickhall

    The Stoop News can say what it likes

    Sinn Féin will not be making the same mistakes in regard to Policing that the SDLP made.

    When we have a new start to Policing then Republicans will come on board but not until then.

    Posted by Chris Gaskin

    Chris,
    What will a new start entale? what will have to be in place before your party enters the police boards etc. Heads we’re in, tails we’re not, or do you have something more specific in mind.

    best regards