Newsnight to look at restorative justice

Following the IMC report, it seems Newsnight tonight is going to cover similar ground to that looked at by Suzanne Breen in the Tribune back in November (that is, the issue of restorative justice). Could be interesting. (You can watch Newsnight from 2230 here).

  • Chris Donnelly

    I found it very interesting that the IMC report kicked off with a long monologue about the dangers of CRJ. Indeed, it read like an SDLP press statement.

    What was more interesting, however, was how the specific- and explosive- allegations made by some in the media about CRJ were most definitely down-played in this report.

    In similar manner, the alleged involvement of republicans in the Dublin killing of Joseph Rafferty was effectively downgraded in the IMC document, with its rather reckless assertion amounting to stating that ‘some republicans must have known it could happen so shoulda done something.’

    Ironically, had these republicans known about the threat to Mr. Rafferty and acted to prevent it, would they have ended up in the IMC Report on the back of that ‘action’?

    The fixation and prominence of the IMC discussion on Community Restorative Justice will only confirm to most nationalists that the organisation is clearly intent on operating a unionist agenda.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Somebody bumped into my granny in Turf Lodge.

    Why is this not included in the IMC report?

    Clearly Turf Lodge is a Republican area, and nothing happens in it without a nod from the IRA leadership. In fact intelligence sources have confirmed that known republicans where in fact in the area at the time of the incident.

    This absolutley scandalous, why did’nt republicans intervene to prevent the incident.

    I presume this will be in the April IMC report, as it only happened on monday.

  • jim

    Very true Paddy

    Its a scandal

    You’d think the IMC would have its finger on the pulse !!

    Now, if the information about your granny had come from an unnamed security source….

  • Mick Fealty

    The report can be found towards the end of the programme. Some interesting highlights:

    – Jim Auld said that CRJ could not recognise the police because it would effectively put them out of business since they are not recognised in the communities in which it works.

    – Reporter Liz McKean: “Fear and loathing of the police is a fact of life in these areas”.

    – Even though the police have greater access to restorative justices schemes in Loyalist areas they effectively say they don’t know what’s going on at the heart of them. And they also say that must change.

    – Eileen Caulder suggests there is confusion as to who individuals actually represent, saying some are believed to have triple membership of Sinn Fein, IRA and CRJ. Jim Auld defended their policy of employing ex-prisoners, and argued that they were clearly badged.

    – According to Chris Notorantonio, the CRJ told him that his son had to leave Northern Ireland and that they could not guarantee his safety.

    – One unidentified client of CRJ in Derry talked about a case where an apparently unwarranted accusation of child abuse caused a serious fall out between two families. Proceedings were begun on the say so of a boy standing outside the window. It wasn’t until a second independent witness intervened that the case was settled amicably. Yet she was still fearful of speaking out.

    – Caulder also mentioned a case where they brought a rapist and victim into the same room together. She claims they are getting involved in controversial cases, which they are unqualified to handle. CRJ denies getting involved in sex abuse cases.

  • The reported facts in the case in Derry are incorrect, it is social services who have questions to answer in this incident not CRJ, as they were involved from the beginning. CRJ should complain to the Press Complaints for having no right to reply.

  • west belfast resident

    They also brought up the case re a married man going out with a girl, and they (CRJ) went to her house to interfere. It is claimed they interfere in peoples lives to that degree. The part of the programme that dealt with it, was not very big, but it gave out a clear message. CRJ are doing jobs that they are not trained to do.

    At one stage the interviewer asked a man from CRJ what the difference was between his organisation and a paramilitary organisation, he said something like ‘the difference is we have a list of ten regulations that our people must sign up to’. Thats hardly any difference at all. They are vigilanties, as someone said on here a ‘green B specials.’

    If funding for CRJ is given from the public purse, these areas will go from no justice to bad street justice.

  • antony mc ateer

    I watched Newsnight for the report on Community Restorative Justice. I got the sense from listening to Chris Notarantonio that his son was not threatened by Community Restorative Justice but rather the Community Restorative Justice had outlined a realistic assessment of the situation as it related to Chris Notaranotonios son. The threat came from another person. In fact Chris Notaranontonio practically choked on his own words in relation to this matter. In areas like Creggan and Ballymurphy there are some people who do not accept any justice scheme except their own whatsoever or use justice schemes when and where it suits them. For example, some people would go to Community Restorative Justice when it suits them but do not hesitate about using a compliant media to attack Community Restorative Justice when it also suits them. The same also applies in realtion to people who have contact with the PSNI. Talking about a complaint media when is some brave journalist going to do some real investigative work into the impact that these groups of people who do not relate to any justice scheme have on areas like Creggan and Balymurphy? What about some reports about the long long catalogue of beatings, assaults, stabbings, harassment, intimidation, drug dealing that goes on in areas like these and how does local communities deal with these issues bearing in mind what the reporter said last night the fear and loathing of the PSNI is a fact of life in areas like these?

  • Mick Fealty


    The person that mentioned the ten points was not someone from CRJ, but a neighbourhood protection project.

  • west belfast resident

    O sorry Mick, so many organisations so many names so little justice.

    The fact is as a person who lives in these areas, its sometimes hard to tell who is who. Is it CRJ who comes to a persons door because of a dispute, while neighbourhood protection schemes drive around the areas re groups of youths and that sort of thing?

    It’s all street policing to me, or looks that way on the face of it.

    The rape case spoken of by the lady from Rape Crisis, how come CRJ dealt with that and not the community protection scheme?

    Can some one tell me, if an incident occours re rape at some ungodly hour on waste ground is it CRJ who deal with it, or is it neighbourhood protection?

    Who actually dispenses the justice?

  • west belfast resident

    Anthony are you saying that people are shopping about for justice to get what is best for them?

  • Betty Boo

    West Belfast Resident,

    They shop about for what is best for them not for justice.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    CRJ is in no position top deal with rape cases and I believe does not even attempt to deal with them.

    Suzanne Breen and Eileen Calder gave a rather garish account in the Sunday Tribune of an alleged incident at a CRJ office that Breen stated was to be investigated by the IMC. I could find no mention of this case in that report, not even that it was under continuing investigation. I have never heard of this incident except from Breen and Calder. Did this incident happen and if so where and when?

  • Mick Fealty

    ‘Anthony’ (aka Seannaboy/OAMW),

    You really should use a real email, or at least make one up that’s not constructed to give out false information, or to personate someone else.

    We had one smart Alec who used the email field to publish a journalist’s address. If you want to be taken seriously on here, then please drop the misleading references!

  • Mick Fealty


    So far as I can see there are a lot of accusations here, none of them conclusive, because in light of the current interim political dispensation there is no practical means to investigate them.

  • west belfast resident

    Betty Boo, I agree.

    Can someone tell me where CRJ stop and neighbourhood protection schemes begin?

  • J Kelly

    The good old RUC still cant let it go.