Sadly, we couldn’t find Tony O’Doherty’s interview with Daily Ireland on line, but Eammon Houston gives a flavour of the former Northern Ireland Soccer international’s work with CRJ in Derry.
“It is impossible to define a typical night. We don’t go into Creggan with a set agenda. We do a lot of outreach work, organise youth groups, soccer tournaments and local festivals. These are hardly the activities of some specialist paramilitary unit.” O’Doherty firmly believes that, even if the policing debate was resolved to every political party’s satisfaction, CRJ projects across the North will still have a major role to play in communities.
“No police service in the world could provide such a service – it is just impossible because of the resources it would take.” This argument is the one that O’Doherty focuses on most passionately.
“We are not trying to be the criminal justice system, or a new criminal justice system. We deliver social justice along the lines of the old Irish tribal systems with a strong ‘look after’ community view. This community view prevails in CRJ.”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty