Policing is knocking on Gerry’s door?

Newton Emerson believes Sinn Fein is reluctantly moving towards recognising policing and he believes the issue is “the last thing that can reasonably be demanded” of the Republican Movement. However, he warns the PSNI has a role to play to inspire public confidence that it will act appropriately in politically sensitive cases. Something, he argues, it has failed to do over the alleged Tohill kidnappers and the Alliance/UUP dodgy leaflets investigation.

  • Hidden Gem

    Sinn Fein has been playing politics with the policing issue for far too long now. Any “compromises” made on the Preparation for Government Committee, will be calculated and should be seen as much. The Shinner leadership decided a long time ago that recognition of the PSNI had to happen but selling it to the bomb’n’bullet republican was never going to be easy. They tried to side-step the issue for a while with fanciful ideas of Community Restorative Justice but that was doomed to fail with PSNI recognition. It was naïve and ridiculous of the Shinners to even try and sell a kind of two tier police force.

    Not just Newton but many republicans too are of the opinion that the November deadline might bring damaging blame to Gerry’s own door. When, as Newton points out, the first public case of a party member breaking the law is heard, Gerry and the Shinners will have to tell its supporters to assist police in their capture and that’s not going to go down well!

    Today it is encouraging that over 20% of the PSNI is now Catholic. It is sound proof that the new Policing arrangements are working. It nails the lie that claims nationalists and Catholics are opposed to the new beginning to policing. Pivotal to recruitment success has been 50:50, (which Patten said 50:50 should be in place for 10 years at least). This essential policy should be guarded and not undermined. The success of policing change cannot be jeopardised for political expediency.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Today it is encouraging that over 20% of the PSNI is now Catholic.

    Not true. As the figures for both the full and part time reserves are excluded from this calculation. Those two forces are predominantly Protestant in membership. The true figure is around 17% and the only reason that 20% is being quoted because that would be in keeping with Patten while 17% wouldn’t.

    As long as the PSNI prosecutes people for merely speaking Irish in public – as is happening with a Belfast teacher who’s to appear in court on 6 September – then it’s unlikely that there will be any groundswell of public support for Sinn Fein to endorse the PSNI.

  • Today at Stormount, the Preparation for Government Committee was addressing the issues of law, order and justice.

    Afterwards, SDLP Policing Spokesperson Alex Attwood MLA said :-

    “There remain major differences around issues of law, order and justice, but also some surprising agreement. All parties on the committee ‘welcomed’ the agreement that there would be a single justice ministry and agreed that the shape and model of the new ministry needed to be worked through by the parties ‘collectively’. If this good work can be built on by the parties talking and negotiating together, more progress might be made.”

    Differences remain around when devolution of justice might occur, MI5 primacy, any proposed future role for the British army, and the devolution of sensitive powers. Mr Attwood continued:

    “The SDLP proposed the maximum position:
    No role for the British army.
    No MI5 primacy.
    Devolution of justice on day one of a restored assembly.
    Community safeguards around sensitive powers.
    Protection for the independence of the Policing Board and new policing structures.

    The SDLP believe that with further hard work, more progress can be made. We would welcome the opportunity.”

    What have the DUP and / or SF been saying?

  • Travis

    As long as the PSNI prosecutes people for merely speaking Irish in public – as is happening with a Belfast teacher who’s to appear in court on 6 September

    Totally shocked to read this.

    Can you provide more details?

  • fair_deal
  • Uatu

    ‘A Belfast teacher has contested a charge of disorderly behaviour at Belfast Magistrates Court and claimed she was arrested by the PSNI because she was speaking Irish.’

    Claimed seems to be the operative word here, a hOilibhear.

    Any more information on the charges?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The teacher in question was waiting for a lift after a night out in the Botanic area. She was accompanied by colleagues. She was speaking to them as Gaeilge when an eavesdropping PSNI officer claimed she had said something to the effect of ‘tiocfaidh ár lá”. He approached them and laid his hand on the teacher to let her know he had been ‘offended’ by her alleged use of the above mentioned phrase. She told him that she had been speaking to her friends and to mind his own business, as Gaeilge. For her trouble she was arrested and thrown in the back of a police landrover. She was told to stop speaking the “Paddy language” by an officer in the jeep and subsequently by other PSNI officers in the station. Naturally that had the opposite effect.
    Independent witnesses corroborate the earlier part of the incident – but I have no doubt the phrase Paddy Language was used. It demonstrates the racist atttiude prevalent within the PSNI towards matters Irish and points up their avowed conversion to Gaelic Games as a political gimick. No doubt this will all come out in evidence during the hearing, which should be entirely as Gaeilge if the application of the teacher’s solicitor is granted – and if there’s a fair judgement, then we should see the PSNI for what they really are – a bunch of frauds.

    When I hear the PSNI are establishing a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge/The Gaelic League within the ranks, that will be a step forward but until then they are no better than the neanderthals who routinely denigrate Irish.

  • Hidden Gem

    The “Annual Report and Accounts” from the Northern Ireland Policing Board for the period 1 April 2005 – 31 March 2006 is available for download here…
    http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/word_docs/PDFs/ann_report06.pdf

    Under the section dealing with recruitment, it says “Recruitment to the PSNI continues to be conducted under the principles of 50:50 so as to ensure a police service that is representative of the community it serves. The current composition figures show the percentage of Roman Catholic regular officers at 20%, an increase of 12% since 2001.”

    Pattern was intended to be a lot of things but it was never going to be quick. The fact that there are substantial increases supports the view that the new Policing arrangements are in deed working. It is wrong of the Shinners to undermine policing and it is wrong of the Shinners to claim nationalists and Catholics are opposed to the new beginning to policing. Patten said 50:50 should be in place for 10 years at least but there are already significant increases from the Catholic community. Either SF is lying or it is out of touch with the feeling on the ground.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I say again, HG, those figures refer to the PSNI full time force, not the reserves, part time or full time, so that’s why I made the point.

    For your information, I’m not a member of Sinn Féin, as you seem to imply, but I made the observation to point out the disparity between the actual figure and the PSNI SPIN.

  • alan

    ”A large group of Irish language activists, including Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún, staged a protest outside the court.”

    Sounds like an easy bit of political opportunism and hey, Babs is there! It will be interesting to see what the due process of law unravels.

  • Peking

    Oilibhear Chromaill
    It’s time you joined SF then, for you are as practised at concocting “poor me” stories as they are.
    You seem to be very well versed on what happened.
    How can you be in “no doubt” that the term “paddy language” was used but so easily dismiss all the PSNI officers said about why this woman was arrested?

  • Lenny Godper

    Oilibhear Chromaill

    If it has a shiny coat, four legs, a wet nose, wags it’s tail, barks and bites the postman….

  • Uatu

    ‘It demonstrates the racist atttiude prevalent within the PSNI towards matters Irish and points up their avowed conversion to Gaelic Games as a political gimick’

    A hOlibhear, a tad exuberant in your leap to tar with one brush, perhaps?

    I once got pickpocketed in Prague – just shows you can’t trust one of those bloody foreigners!! Any of them!! Crooks to a man!!

  • ardro

    “Policing is knocking on Gerry’s door?” and in the mean time we all have to sit back and wait. SF/DUP intransigence has allowed the Direct Ministers carte blanche to de what ever they want at whatever cost. Sinn Fein is going to do what the SDLP said it would five years ago but the hold up? The sequencing of confidence building measures. “Political sweeteners” to help the Shinners and the Duppers each save face.

  • Hidden Gem

    Oilibhear Chromaill

    You are wrong. I did not direct my post to you specifically nor did I in anyway imply that you personally are a member of SF. FYI, I couldn’t care less what you are!

    Points made in my original post still stand as the fact remains that there are substantial increases in people from the Catholic community choosing the police as a career. Now some may wish to divert attention away from this cultural shift and argue over the figures of whether it is 22%, 20%, or 18% but the tide is changing. More Catholics are joining the police, thanks in no small part to the 50:50 rule. Even the Shinners see this and that is one of the reasons why they’ll be signing up to policing.

  • Professor

    “Now he found out a new thing–namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

  • Cynic

    I am sure there can be many bad and incompetent peelers in the new PSNI but let’s look at this again.

    “An eavesdropping PSNI officer claimed she had said something to the effect of ‘tiocfaidh ár lá” and he had been ‘offended’ by her alleged use of the above mentioned phrase”

    Well let’s see the evidence in Court and see if the poor little thing was scooped off the streets for simply speaking in Irish or for something else. Amazing that a policeman standing in Botanic at that time of the morning surrounded by hundreds of pissed up, vomiting, shouting, fighting students should have the time to bother her, unless of course there was something else going on. And how did he manage to just ‘overhear’ her quiet calm conversation with friends?

    What was it she was arrested for? Did you say ‘disorderly’ behaviour. Surely not!

    Oh yes and

    ” I have no doubt the phrase Paddy Language was used.”

    Why do you have no doubt? Were you there? Was it recorded? Is this evidence of prejudiced police or prejudiced blogging?

    Next time someone feeds you a little story like this one try applying a stiff dose of Occams razor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_Razor

    And you should be able to trust Occam – after all he was a Catholic!

  • POL

    Policing is knocking on Gerry’s door?

    That makes a change from kicking in Gerry`s door lol.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It’s a question of credibility, Cynic. Who do I believe? Do I believe the PSNI whose record regarding the Irish language is poor – the Belfast teacher isn’t the first, not even the first this year, to be illtreated by the PSNI as a result of speaking Irish? Or do I believe the testimony of a person which is supported by witnesses?

    I know for a fact that, on occasions, whenever the Irish language was mentioned in what passes for cultural sensitvity training in the PSNI, that it prompts giggles among the trainees. Don’t ask how I know this – but it’s true. The Irish language is the only language omitted from a poster, featuring 30 odd languages, welcoming people to police stations. These are all by the way – by far the most serious display of this linguistic intolerance by the PSNI is their treatment of people who have come into contact with them, or to their attention, through speaking Irish.

    So, Occam’s Razor notwithstanding, I think I’m on fairly solid ground here. But, let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a moment, let’s hear examples of PSNI behaviour which is friendly to the Irish language and those who speak it.

    I’m waiting. ….

  • Peking

    “I know for a fact that, on occasions, whenever the Irish language was mentioned in what passes for cultural sensitvity training in the PSNI, that it prompts giggles among the trainees.”

    I know for a fact that the trainees all cheer with delight when the Irish is mentioned. Don’t ask me how I know this but believe me I do.

  • Draoi

    What I don’t understand is how a PSNI officer in hearing a private conversation could differentiate the term ‘tiocfaidh ár lá” from other parts of the conversation unless he was somewhat fluent in Irish?

    Draoi

  • ardri

    Oilibhear Chromaill is talking Shinner shite..

    Don’t ask how I know this – but it’s true!

  • irish sam

    What has the arrest of an Irish speaking teacher to do with Newton Emerson’s belief that Sinn Fein is reluctantly moving towards recognising policing? Is this just another derisory tactic to get a thread off an uncomfortable topic for the Shinners?

  • Cynic

    Olibhear

    “do I believe the testimony of a person which is supported by witnesses”

    Well that depends on the quality of the witnesses deosnt it. I assume that there will be Police witnesses too, so why do you immediately jump to believee one set and not the other? The Courts are full of accused and witnesses every day and, would you belive it, the witnesses often aren’t that ‘independent’ nor do they always tell the truth, so lets see the quality of the evidence in this case before we jump to wild assertions and generalised assumptions.

    “I know for a fact that, on occasions, whenever the Irish language was mentioned in what passes for cultural sensitvity training in the PSNI, that it prompts giggles among the trainees. Don’t ask how I know this – but it’s true.”

    So we have to assume that the 50% of new Catholic recruits are also giggling at the Irish lessons or letting their colleagues get away with that without complaining. Credible?

    Have another read at Occcam!