Shift in Sinn Fein engagement with PSNI

Sinn Fein has confirmed that its representatives held “a couple of meetings” with senior police officers to discuss the operation at Ardoyne shops on the Twelfth night. Past engagement between the two has been “on the ground on the day of a march”.

  • Nevin

    Fair Deal, the ‘lame duck’ President’s neck is in a garrotte on the policing issue, ITHO of Anthony McIntyre. Perhaps he misses rubbing shoulders with a US President?

  • slug

    Sincerely: Sinn Fein are to be praised for this step. Well done.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Climbing down, be it from a political position or a ladder, unless one has a great deal of practice, has to be done step-by-step.

    Hopefully, practice makes perfect as well.

  • TL

    GA & GF could start a coffee klatsch with the PSNI and the Bush admin would still find a reason to hate on them. Policing was just a convenient excuse.

  • As I said earlier- the SDLP for slow learners. The move must be welcomed however- it’s about time that people in all nationalist areas were afforded the opportunity to make full use of the PSNI- perhaps SF are finally realising this.

    To some of us though, this comes as no surprise. It’s no secret that senior SF members happily hobnob with the upper echelons of the PSNI and Policing Board (and I mean the upper echelons) at social events, so the natural progression would be to extend that cordiality to discussions on policing in areas where it will actually have a positive impact on communities, such as along the peace lines of north Belfast. I’m guessing that this has dawned on SF, hence these talks. Now perhaps they’ll get around to formalising these arrangements by signing-up to the Patten structures, albeit a few years after the SDLP.

    Better late than never, eh?

  • joeCanuck

    Great news; another small step forward to normality.

  • Pablo

    Is it just me or does the peeler chatting with Gerry look like William Hague!

  • londonderry_loyal

    Why dont they join the policing board now…

  • joeCanuck

    l_l

    They will, they will.
    Before 24 Nov I bet.

  • Turbo Paul

    I am of the firm belief that Sinn Fein will offer to join the PNSI board as part of the talks leading up to Nov, this is a baby step, in line with preparing Republicans for full co-operation.

    Does the Policeman with the moustache look like a young Ken McGuiness???

  • Pablo

    Why I believe he does Turbo Paul. Great, that means I can sleep tonight as I’ve been wracking me brains trying to put a name to the face.

    I happen to agree with your analysis of when SF will be joining the policing board. Surely progress can be better made behind closed doors with sparkling water and mints on a table than in a confrontation zone where spirits and tempers can be high. Nevertheless, I think they must be part of the board.

    Now it’s time for *the loyalists* to chuck their guns into the Irish Sea.

  • joeCanuck

    Irish Sea?

    I thought the IRA chucked theirs into The Atlantic Ocean.
    Can’t we have some equality around here?

  • Henry94

    With Paisley trapped in the headlights of his own legend the more moderate Sinn Fein can be the more damage the DUP will do to the unionist cause.

    Given that nobody within unionism is strong enough to take on Paisley republicans have a huge political advantage.

    The people who will have a problem with this are the people who have demonstrated a consistent lack of interest in strategic thinking.

  • Turbo Paul

    Surely progress can be better made behind closed doors with sparkling water and mints on a table than in a confrontation zone where spirits and tempers can be high.

    These days of 24 news etc it seems that talks may as well be conducted outside at a table in full public view.

    Now it’s time for *the loyalists* to chuck their guns into the Irish Sea.

    I am of the firm belief that Jackie McDonald and others of the same mind want to get rid of the guns, but they don’t know how to, in a way that gives them credit for leaving the stage quietly.

  • Ian

    I think the UTV report has misquoted Gerry Kelly there:

    Mr Kelly said: “In normal circumstances, political representatives would NEED police on the ground on the day of a march to de-escalate the situation.

    clearly should read:

    Mr Kelly said: “In normal circumstances, political representatives would MEET police on the ground on the day of a march to de-escalate the situation.

    if you consider the context of the following paragraph:

    “Because of the particular circumstances in Ardoyne, we took an initiative to move to do these MEETINGS days before the parade.

    There’s a big difference between the two statements. Recognising the reality that contact between Kelly and the police occurs every year in order to defuse the situation, and therefore having a meeting the day before in a less heated atmosphere, is a sensible baby step forward. To suggest as the report does that SF claim they NEED the PSNI on the ground to keep the peace, would be a MASSIVE step forward but I doubt that’s what he was trying to say.

    I’m surprised no-one from SF has got onto UTV and demanded the report be corrected, like they did when the NIO claimed Michelle Gildernew had met Charlie Windsor.

  • Why

    Republicans where out last night breaking doors down threatened an innocent mentally ill man with guns and put one man in the Royal with mangled arms, cant wait to see them in uniforms as the balaclavas are out of fashion.

  • Cynic

    Intersting picture illustrating this. Isn’t that a (much younger looking) Gerry actually engaging in dialogue with the hated RUC, not even the PSNI. It must have been taken some years ago so, in the meantime, why all the reluctance to engage / be seen to engage publicly with the PSNI? Now Sinn Fein even admit that, at some of the most contentious times, their members ‘on the ground on the day’ have been talking to them. Ah, politics. Isn’t it a wonderful pastime.

    But let’s not carp or look back. This is a great move and a real step forward for SF, the police and all the rest of us.

  • Christian

    Just a small point Ian but meet and need are very similar outlines in Teeline shorthand so it’s possible the two words were confused.

  • Ciaran Damery

    Let me preface my post by stating that I have serious reservations about the current Irish Peace Process and question those who expect it to expedite the reunification process and bring about a just and pluralistic Ireland. Moreover, I applaud the principled stand of Ruari O’Bradaigh and Michael McKevitt and their respective roles in Ireland’s most recent phase of armed struggle. Having said that, I sincerely believe that Sinn Féin’s electoral ambitions ought to be given a fair wind in the 26 counties. Onh a good day I believe that Republican gains can be made in Donegal SW and NE, in Cork NC, Mayo, Meath east, Wexford, Waterford and at least 4 in Dublin (including DSE). If this happens at the next election, then SF would have 16 TDs, given that I expect the party to retain its current 5 TDs. This will pave the way for the annihilation of Labour/Workers Party (who by the way were outpolled by SF in the recent Euro eolections) in the 26 cos. Thus, I would appeal to those Republicans who dissent from the current strategy to vote SF in the forthcoming elections rather than abstaining. Eventhough RSF and CSM and IRSP supporters are unhappy with the current strategy, who can question the integrity of Martin Ferris, Martin McGuinness, Lawerence McKeown, Tom Murphy, Bik McFarlane et al. Just give this strategy a chance…and we’ll take it from there. Finally, there can be no acceptance of the Unionist militia who masquarade as a police service in the occupied zone until it is disbanded and replaced by an All Ireland police service

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    Dear Ciaran Damery, Gee the story was on Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly….not the other people you put in your remark.

    As for Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly…who can quetion their integrity….??? Well, I can and will…. Under Gerry Adam’s his friend donaldson was a brit spy who did all he could to get rid of the Irish in America who supported sinn fein and when he was outed…why it was Gerry Adams that publically advised the man to get legal representation….gee giving the softly softly landing for the traitor….and under Gerry Adam’s leadership…he advised and won to get the PIRA to give up it’s guns…and gov’t is STILL not up and running and Catholics are STILL being beaten to death…and Gerry Adam’s latest…making sure he was the one to finger the IRA members as killers or abductors when he gave an open press conference and stated the IRA who met with reps of the british gov’t looking for the dissapeared…they were either the killers of the disapeared or transporters…or the abductors of the disappeared….yep…adams fingered those who helped as the murders…
    Now on to Gerry Kelly….talks tough…but does all he can to ensure the police are safe in republican areas….He is always more concerned with the safety of the psni and brit army than Catholics in the area….but he uses his past history as the issue so no one can (he thinks) can question his motives…yet it is Gerry Kelly that is working to have SF give it’s blessing to the psni…of course….all in the name of the peace process….or is it…more in the name of the Gerry’s ambition?…or is it more in the name of castrating the republican movement? Question Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly’s integrity…what integritiy?

  • Ciaran Damery

    Gerry Kelly spent more than 200 days on hunger strike, during which he was force fed and once he was returned to Long Kesh he led the break out and all indications are that he immediately returned to active service. Do ya disagree with that? If so , upon what premise? As for Gerry Adams and his relationship with the tout Donaldson? For Chrissakes, even Donaldson’s own family didn’t know? Why blame Adams? Did Dicksie Martin, Gilly, the Dog, Mickey McKevitt ever suspect Scap was a filthy piece of shit? No! They did not and I know this personally. So why blame Adams? All I aske is that his stategy be given a chance…we can always return to armed struggle just as our fraternal brothers in Hezbollah and Hamas are currently doing. Just give the electoral strategy a chance…if it don’t work then let’s get back to basics. But at the end of the day what all Irish Republicans want is our country back. Finally, if ya don’t accept the credentials of Adams and Kelly, then just listen to those I mentioned in my previous post. Meanwhile, if you have any concerns about guerilla warfare and touts, then come join me today in the Southern Beruit.

  • slug

    Ciaran

    “Just give the electoral strategy a chance…if it don’t work then let’s get back to basics.”

    Could you clarify what this means?

  • Ciaran Damery

    On another note – why has nobody ever called for an Inquiry into the murder of Dominic McGlinchey? Why has Gerry Adams, Ruari O’Bradaigh, Bernie Sands and their respective parties not sought justice for this Irish patriot? Oh, how easily we forget. I was privledged to spend time with Dominic in the early ’80s. He was, to quote Bernadette Devlin/McAliskey – “the greatest republican of thenm all”. I often ask myself, what would Dominic think of this new approach. Dom was a militant republican, he fought a brave war, frequently accompanied by Irish martyr Frankie Hughes and Ian Milne. As I stand here today (and I’m no hero, that’s for sure) exiled from my county until the OTR situation is resolved I’m comfortable with my new found friends and resolved to remove Zionism from the middle east. Although I am not a Muslim, in the name of Hassan Nasralleh say – Allah Ackbar! Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in Hezbollah and Hamas.

  • Ciaran damery

    Slug – the current theatre of operations is within the political arena. Given the history of Ireland ond the plethora of rebellions designed ro repel the occupier, perhaps the term “basics” could mean a return to armed insurrection. Qui sait? Whaddya think?

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    Dear Ciaran, Why blame adams about donaldson…it is very easy. Donaldson was sent by sf to the states and caused alot of problems. Donaldson used the approach-similiar to what some do here on this board- to insult the American Irish and to do everything within his power to get the Americans to stop their support of SF…Donaldson took the approach that when the Americans said things were not working…then the Americans didn’t live in the north…they didn’t experience the north and they should just remain silent…learn from those in the north…and if that didn’t work…make fun of Americans and their country. Now, as the president of sinn fein…gerry adams saw what was happening in the US and the crumbling support…and he kept donaldson on as their rep in the States. Donaldson was trouble and Americans didn’t like him…adams kept donaldson on and even as just a mangerial point of view…donaldson should have been taken out of his position and someone the Americans like put in charge…that’s smart politics…But when it came to donaldson..adams refused to play smart politics…he played along with donaldson’s plan…and now we know that plan was hatched by the brits in MI5 and MI6. Gerry let it go on at the expense of support for the movement…he bares responsibility in this….As for Gerry Kelly, yes he was on hunger strike for 200 days and force fed…however, there are others who went to jail…were beaten and abused…and they have been forced out of the movement because they question how the movement is being run under adams and adam’s side kick…kelly.
    And an important issue that blackens Gerry Adam’s leadership….Men died on hunger strike to fight for the issue…they were not criminals…under the leadership of adams…he came out and announced the IRA had to give up criminality…he did what thatcher was unable to do….label and have stick the idea that the IRA are criminals….

  • Ciaran damery

    Kathy, when referring to Sf’s approach to the tout, yes – “donaldson should have been taken out of his position”. I have great respect for Martin Galvin, Ciaran Staunton and other Irish Republicans who worked hard for Irish liberation and supported the struggle. In fact, one of the greatest Irish Republicans that ever lived in the US, one Martin Flannery, who was totally committed to armed struggle and supported the stance of Ruari O’Bradaigh and the late Dathai O’Conail(great Irish patriot) when both men led a not insignificant proportion of Sinn Féin delegates out of the ard dheis because of the abstention issue. Mayber they were right? Time will tell. All I ask is that those who dissent with mainstream electtoral tactics (and that all they are – tactics) give it a chance. Disagreeing with mainstream republicanism is one thing – but for christ sake, isn’t a vote for Ferris in Kerry, Dessie Ellis in Dublin or Pearse Doherty better than not voting at all???? When republicans don’t vote in the next elections they will be indirectly supporting Blueshirts, Ex Stickies in Labour or the cronies in Fianna Fáil. All I’m saying, with respect, is give the goddamn project a chance.

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all, Dear Ciaran, I’m all for giving the project a chance…in fact I’ve backed it for some time now…what I’m saying…is ….it is time for a new leader. When a football team is having trouble…they get a new manager…they don’t stop playing ball. Under Gerry Adam’s leadership the movement is faultering…and it has been for some time….the best chance the movement has is either adams goes back to the original plan that was a success or…adams goes…..There has to be a change because it is not working as it is and his decisions are costing the movement…. I’m all for SF winning and getting more votes than ever before…but it won’t happen as it stands with adams as he is today….

  • Ciaran damery

    Questioning the leadership of Gerry Adams is natural and constructivive. But remember that the Irish republican family is not monolithic, nor is gerry adams the sole leader. He is without doubt a major player, in fact he bore the brunt of Orange and Paisleyite hatred for decades and still does. However, the mainstream republican movement has a collective leadership. Some may argue that Ruairi O’Bradaigh (mar shampla) would be a better leader. But no one can doubt the charismatic influence Adams has ad on the world stage. He put a human, compassionate yet determined face on a movement that had hitherto been banded thugs by free staters, brits and (with the exception of Noraid), Irish america. Many of us think we are on a winner here if things go as planned…but it will take time. During the war we got used to the quick hit and the emotional rollercoaster. The current strategy calls for patience and unity. We can do it! But if we split we may as well vote Paisleyite or Blueshirt.

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,
    Dear Ciaran, I see it a bit differently, I see the young Catholic lad from paisly’s town who was just recently beaten to death because he was a Catholic as baring the brunt of the orange and paisleyite hatred for decades….all this patience of adams does…is getting more young Catholics killed. I see the Quinn boys who were burnt to death as a result of anti-Catholic hatred in the north during the parades season as bearing the brunt of paislyite hatred. Adams should leave the stage…I don’t know anyting about Ruairi O’Bradaigh but if he is willing to take on the DUP poltically then he sure would be better than adams who just is calling for patience and let the paisleyites do what ever they want….and what they want is the north of Ireland run by england and the queen’s gov’t….and they want the Catholics to admit what we are…is wrong. The PIRA a few years back were concidered patriots…now adams has them labeled criminals. Personally, I see adams as a traitor to the cause…and out for his own self and his career…what he once was…is not the issue…what he has become is. Sinn Fein can survive nicely without him…and do better….and I hope that they will.

  • Nevin

    Ciaran, Adams has been a lame duck leader of the Sinner movement for quite some time; the support provided by the likes of Martin Mansergh and Alec Reid seems to have evaporated.

    Just look at the fall out from the Northern Bank robbery, the murder of Robert McCartney and the performances of Mitch McLaughlin and Comical Marty on RTE current affairs programmes.

    The Athboy strategy is currently in reverse gear and the likes of McGuigan and O’Dowd have been left swinging in the wind.

    Kathy C, the Sinner movement is fundamentally fascist and mafiaist – just like all the other paramilitary organisations. Just look at their efforts to operate their own ‘societies within society’; they can even collaborate as has recently been shown by the Finaghy Crossroads Group. But who really wants their community to be run by such thugs?

  • ciaran damery

    Kathy,
    I just want to respond to your post, I am not interested in engagin with ‘Nevin’ or other orangies whose contributions are irrelevant to this thread. The Nevins of this world are the people who like to see a splintered Republican family Kathy, they benefit from splits and love to put down Sinn Féin.

    Incidentally, Gerry Adams never “labeled” Oglaigh Na hEireann “criminals”, tather he asked that members disengage in any activity that might be construed as “criminal”. In fact, Gerry adams speaks proudly of Oglaigh and the role the army played both as the cutting thrust of Irish Republicanism and as an Undefeated, still intact Army willing to give the peace process a chance. Believe me, if Adams did not have the support of the Army. We know that Irish Republicans are Irish soldiers dedicateed to attain our goal of reunification, there would be no Irish Peace Process or GFA were it not for the armed struggle. finally, Paisleyites all want “catholics” to admit to wrong doing etc. But remember, our struggle is not about the needs of orangies or Paisleyites, it is not about equating common criminals with Oglaigh Na hEireann or any Irish Republican who resorted to armed insurrection to liberate our country. I’m sure that adams could make a nice living writing books, given his undoubted prowess as a writer. But could it be that you are unhappy with the Belfast Brigade and SF in Belfast. That seems to be a common thread in yer posts. All I ask is that you acknowledge that orangies are fools, Paisley is so blinded by bigotry that he cannot see that his Orange ‘garden of Eden’ is crumbling around him. We already have control of most of occupied Ireland, i.e. West of the Bann. We are making huge iroads in the 26 cos, in Belfast, and other parts of Antrim. All I’m asking Kathy is to give Adams a chance…he started this process and give him time to finish it. If we fail to remove the brits then lets go back to the drawing board and believe me, there is a ready and able stable of volunteers prepared to resume an even more sophisticated and slick war, if the current political project doesn’t work.

  • ciaran damery

    One other note Kathy – if Oglaigh Na hEireann decided to root out and ‘punish’ the orange slime responsible for the murder of that catholic kid McIlveen, then rest assured that we could do it. Those orange barbarians who slaughtered the kid are known to all and sundry and it wouldn’t even require the involvement of the Intelligence Dept. of Oglaigh to identify and deal with the scum. However, please please give the Movement a chance. McIlveen’s slaughter was no worse that the brutal murder of Robert Hamill. In fact, even more Irish people will die at the hands of Orange Fascists in the near future. But rest assured that the Movement will act decisively and definitively if this kind of sectarian and murderous activity continues. Kathy, be confident in the Movement’s ability to protect the Irish people in occupied Ireland. Be aware that the current strategy is merely a tactical approach. If the current leadership of Mainstream Republicanism fail then rest assured that they will have to go. If others suffer the same faith as wee McIlveen, if SS/RUC and other Unionist terrorists contnue to collude then Oglaigh Na hEireann will address the issue, unequivocally and definitively. Make no mistake about that Kathy.

  • lib2016

    Anyone know how to spell ‘agents provocateurs? This stuff doesn’t insult my intelligence, it just makes me feel superior!

  • ciaran damery

    lib – well at least I make somebody happy. So it makes ya “feel superior”? Well like I say, it’s good to make another ‘happy’, only hope that ya’aren’t being fascetious and deluding yerself by acting “snobby”, like a little englander or “with a whiff” of pomposity? If not, then pat yerself on the back, ya feel good about yerself.
    and as we say – Up the ‘RA!

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi Ciaran, I’m not saying that there should be a return to the armed struggle…what I’m saying is there should be someone in charge of sinn fein who is willing to politically take on the dup and paisly…. It’s not that paisly is playing the poltics game so great…it’s just that adams and some in sf are playing the poltics game so very badly. What political cost has paisly paid? I really don’t see anything major…but what politcal cost has the republican movement under the leadership of adams paid….I see alot…. The PIRA have given up their weapons (and what did sf get for this…is the gov’t up and running). A british spy was outed in SF and what was the political cost the brits had to pay? A Catholic man from Derry is lying in critical condition in the hospital…at the hands of the loyalist…and what political cost did SF have the loyalist pay? American support for SF has dwindled…and SF under adams is doing what to rekindle this and mend fences? Oh yeah…nothing. Seems like the political support for SF in the Ireland of Ireland isn’t rising anymore and SF under adams is doing what? Give what a chance….adams politically giving away the north? I’m all for poltics working…just get someone in there that knows what is needed to politically WIN!

  • Nevin

    Ciaran, I prefer constitutional nationalism to the fascism and mafiaism of the Sinner and other militant republican movements. I vote across the UUP-SDLP spectrum and I spent many years in trans-community projects – so I’d hardly classify as an orangie 🙂

    Perhaps Adams peace lingo is confusing the rank-and-file, not least the bit about reaching out to unionists. However, if you accept that Adams and the truth are strange bedfellows then you can see that the rank-and-file need not take his words at face value.

    Kathy, constitutional parties in the south don’t want to see any further growth in the SF vote. With an election looming the last thing they’ll want to see is an Executive at Stormont and SF ministers sitting across the table at NSMC meetings from Irish government ministers.

  • ciaran damery

    Nevin, this preference you express for “constitutiional nationalism” is old hat. Sure we heard about “contstitutional nationalism” way back in the lat 1800s when the Irish people were being disposses of our land and when our pewople could not even practice the religion of their choice. In fact we heard all about “constititionalism’ during the 30s, 40s and right up the the day Oglaigh Na hEireann decided to address the issue of occupation only as we do best. The IRA remains undefeated, cohesive, intact and prepared to resume our quest via armed struggle. Meanwhile, the current leadershp of Irish Republicanism are literally pleading with Orange Settlers, Paileyites et al to engage in what you call “constitutional”, democratic pursuits and to ignore the right of the Irish people to self-determine our own future. Believe it or not Nevin, Sf is prepared to engage in what ya term “constitutional” politics, it is prepared to share power with Unionists in a sectarian statelet on an equal basis. as for yer predictions pertaining to the prospective electoral growth of SF (whether in occupied Ireland or the south), rest assured that Sinn Féin will continue to make gains, increase its mandate and TDs. Meanwhile, not one MEP, TD, MP MLA, Councellor, or SF Mayor (and there are literally hundreds of elected Republicans throughout Ireland) will grovewl to the likes of Nevin, his perspective or his Orange leanings. Kathy, we are strong, we are determined we have awesome power. We cannot lose. Just give us a chance…Oglaigh will neve sell ya out. Beirfidh Bua!

  • Nevin

    Ciaran, can you actually name the seven member Sinner Army Council, the so called legitimate government of Ireland, and the portfolios they hold? Or is it all so much hooey?

    The Sinners have been, er, engaging in constitutional politics for quite a long time but it seems they can’t leave their fascism and mafiaism behind.

    PS You’ve moved me from an ‘orangie’ to someone with ‘Orange leanings’ without explaining how my proposal for shared sovereignty and years in trans-community work would be acceptable to the, er, Loyal Orders.