Moveable feast of Human Rights?

Brian Feeney is no great fan of the Bush administration or its Envoy’s contribution to the policing debate in the Irish Times last week.


  • I thought shrill republicans like Feeny had called for “internationalisation”.

    Perhaps they only meant guns from Libya.

  • Nevin

    So what is this great ‘deal’ that Feeney is acting as a ‘cheerleader’ for?

    Does it mean that the two governments will acquiesce to the formation of loyalist and republican goon squads to legitimately police those communities the paramilitary godfathers view as their fiefdoms? As a friend once put it, there’ll be ‘baseball bats with blue flashing lights’.

    Will or would such a grand wheeze be extended to the rest of these two islands? Some may talk of restorative justice but the barbarised victims will be in need of restorative surgery, assuming they survive.

    Let’s hope that Reiss and Al Hutchinson, the Police Oversight Commissioner, protect us from such madness.

  • Shore Road Resident

    This article falls over because Feeney’s own prejudice won’t let him write the other half of the story – namely, that Britain is now the ‘good guy’ from Sinn Fein’s policing perspective.

    He almost says so towards the end, but he can’t quite bring himself to do it.

    Brian is becoming very angry lately and it’s starting to blind his insight.

  • lib2016

    It would seem that some unionists actually fear the day when we finally get acceptable policing but it is going to happen.

    Sure there are going to be disagreements on what emphasis should be put here and there but overall surely the bulk of unionists must realise that we all have to have some degree of faith in the institutions of law and order? Just as we all have to come to agreement on where and when public roads can be reserved for marches by either or both communities?

  • Nevin

    lib2016, decent nationalists and unionists have much to fear from the the spread of paramilitary fascism and mafiaism.

    PS The institutions you refer to are institutions of the state so IMO we need shared sovereignty – with no hiding place for the likes of Johnny Adair and Gerry Adams.

  • lib2016


    The IRA is fading away and the loyalist paramilitaries have shrunk to become discredited gangs. The ‘decent people’ you refer to should be very pleased, as am I.

    No doubt any democrats among those who disagree with the result of our last referendum will propose a new referendum. I shall not be holding my breath.

    If you have evidence about criminal behaviour by any of our public representatives please reveal it to the appropriate authorities, or do you consider unsubstantiated allegations acceptable behaviour?

  • Nevin

    lib2016, the ‘public representatives’ who are members of the political wings of paramilitary organisations, take their orders from their respective army councils. These organisations are still involved in organised crime and I’ve seen no sign of the disbandment of any of the army councils.

  • Rapunsel

    I thought Feeney’s article was spot on. One doesn’t have to be a republican to take offence the rank hypocrisy spewing from the mouth of the special envoy. Feeney in the article ( he may be in other places I don’t know) is not making an argument in support of any deal Sinn Fein have with the British government on policing — merely it seems to me pointing out the facts. One could actually go further and point to Blair and co their own hypocrisy on issues of policing and justice seeming that they want us here to engage in and suppport a peace proces ( which is good) yet engage in barbarity on the other side of the world!

  • Pete Baker

    “merely it seems to me pointing out the facts”


    Feeney suggests, without providing any evidence, that such a deal, on policing, between SF and the British government already exists.

    If so, why do you think that the details are not made clear to both the public and the other parties?

    Because they’d reject such an underhand method of Processing?

  • Rapunsel


    I stand corrected — but does anyone seriously believe that there is not a secret deal. Look at the on the runs issue. I agree that such a method of Processing would be underhand and would not have much support amongts other parties and the general public.

  • Pete Baker


    I missed adding the relevant quote from Mr Feeney:

    That is particularly true when SF has clearly made a deal with the British government about what reforms are needed to policing arrangements here before they will join and the timing of those reforms is tied up with the restoration of a Stormont executive.

    The reason why it’s underhand – and, actually, not relevant unless the details are revealed – is that such a deal requires the acquiescence of the other parties.

    Of course, the public would be left in the dark regardless…

  • Pete Baker

    It would be underhand, that is.. nothing definite about Mr Feeney’s claim.

  • Nevin

    Feeney regards “how we decide to use and leverage our influence, that defines the role we play in the peace process” as an ugly phrase.

    Feeney is seemingly cheesed off because the phrase disrespects those voters who endorsed an ugly organisation, viz. the Sinner movement. IMO no amount of votes can whitewash paramilitarism, loyalist or republican.

    Perhaps a clue to the deal lies in this excerpt from the Oversight Commissioner’s report:

    Recent interviews with several DCU Commanders and supervisors suggest a preference for expanding the PTR or POPT programmes, at 144 hours per person per year, rather than creating PCSOs who would be employed 40 hours per week. Regardless of the benefits and disadvantages of each category, the key issue for any approach must be whether the persons engaged are representative of the community where they serve.

    Based on the approval of the Policing Board, the Human Resources Department has developed plans to recruit 150 PCSOs. Grafton Recruitment has been selected to manage the recruitment requirements, with Consensia handling the examination and assessment steps of the process. However, by April of 2006 no legislation for establishing the position of PCSO in Northern Ireland was developed, nor was a business case on the funding of such a programme submitted to the NIO

    This looks like a ‘move’ to ‘devolve’ local policing to local communities and these ‘police officers’ would be subject IMO to the control of the local paramilitary godfather.