You Are Talking Weeks Rather Than Months

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowan asks, “How quickly then will the Sinn Fein leadership call that special Ard Fheis – or party conference – to open the door for republicans into the world of policing?”

“You are talking weeks rather than months is probably the best way to put it,” Gerry Kelly answered. Republicans move closer to playing a role in policing

And what would republican participation in policing mean?, queries Rowan.

“I think once you go to that point, you’re in the full package,” Kelly said. “I want Sinn Fein to be involved in the justice process and be involved in any Ministry of Justice . . . you wouldn’t be able to go to an Ard Fheis and say, ‘Well, we think somebody should be a justice minister, but not (be) on the (Policing) Board’…. I think if you are convinced, and remember we are “futuring” here, if you make a decision and you believe that it is the right political decision to make, then you have to stand over it. There’s no point going in half measures and I won’t go at it in half measures.” He emphasised that policing had to be got right, adding: “I think we are close to it.”

Sinn Fein could back police: Kelly

  • Pete Baker

    There is nothing new in Brian Rowan’s breathless interview with Gerry K.. nor the Bel Tel’s coverage of it.

    “it would be an enormous boost to the prospects of doing a deal”

    Gerry K, and SF have, with a couple of wobbles thrown in, been stuck in the same position all year.

  • Rusty Nail

    Sorry, Pete, could you show me where Kelly quantified things in terms of weeks previously? That is what I was highlighting.

  • Pete Baker


    The timeframe you’re highlighting is Kelly speculating on, ie hyping, just how quickly SF could call the Ard Fheis after the devolution of policing and justice powers – “Republicans will also want to see and read the changes in legislation”, as Brian Rowan put it.

    That’s after the quadruple lock is negotiated.

    The point of the article, and the interview, is in the final paragraph

    “It depends on Ian Paisley and power sharing and on an agreement with the DUP on a policing process and future that could do more for peace than the ceasefires and all of the decommissioning and all of the words of the IRA a year ago.”

    SF could have agreed most of the items listed in the PFG Committee… but they didn’t.. and they didn’t even turn up to debate the Committee’s Report.

  • Rusty Nail

    So, Pete, for us plebs out here, what exactly are you saying? It appears that SF are ready to jump, so to speak, and the timeframe is now quantifiable, i.e., dependent on the dealmaking going on now, but most likely if the DUP gives a nod of some sorts, SF will move their people to support their endorsment of policing, and this will likely happen in the run up to the New Year or shortly after. Whereas before they have not gone as far as to suggest when in such a manner. You’re saying otherwise? Or what are you saying?

  • Pete Baker


    Kelly isn’t saying anything that he didn’t say in January.

    As for calling an Ard Fheis to debate a leadership proposal… Hain previously, in May, said he was expecting that to happen as early as the end of July.

  • Streamer

    Sinn Fein know exactly when they are going to sign up for policing. As always they play a waiting game and leave announcements like this to the very last minute.

  • fair_deal

    The rumours I have pretty consistently is a special ard fheis next february.

  • Curious


  • Streamer

    The puzzling thing about this is one minute The Shinners are slating the police for doing what their job and the next they are talking about coming to an arrangement to sit on the policing board with a string of pre-conditions.
    Why don’t The Shinners join the policing board as it is and then try and instrument changes from the inside instead of whinging about change from the outside.That would be common sense, but then it’s that simple one wonders how The Shinners missed it.

  • Swizzle

    It’s about time that Sinn Fein joined the police board. You can’t have 1 law for one and another law for another. We need justice regardless of how perfect or imperfect it may be it is better than the street justice melted out by republicans either Mainstream or any other stream. This is not to just appease the DUP or anyone else. Catholics / Nationalists want it as well.