Sinn Fein playing up the policing card?

Interesting line from Sean Farren, who basically argues that the Sinn Fein’s stated reasons for holding out on accepting policing have little basis in fact:

I think there has been a lot of over-exaggeration and overstatement from Sinn Féin about the transfer of policing and justice powers to Stormont. They talk about accountability but we have actually been involved in policing for five years and have witnessed significant changes at first hand. While the transfer of powers would be symbolic, it remains to be seen how a minister would perform any more effectively in that regard.


  • JD

    Of course the SDLP will say this, as every increasing element of accountability that SF have gained and will gain on policing reminds everyone how inept and premature the SDLP decision on policing was. For the last number of years the SDLP have been in the ridiculous situation of telling the British no more changes please in policing as it will further expose us. Transfer of powers is the key element outstanding that has the potential to finally rid us of political policing.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The very word attributed to Dr Farren – overexaggeration – is an indication of the SDLP man’s desperation. How can one ‘over exaggerate’ when to exaggerate is to overstate your position. This is more than a pedantic point because the evidence – particularly the issue of devolution of police and justice to the north – is far more than a symbolic issue. But that’s not to say that symbolism isn’t important.

    Here’s another symbolic issue – with added importance. Where have the SDLP been in respect of the case of Maire Nic an Bhaird, arrested because she spoke Irish, by a member of the PSNI which, apparently is accountable to the Policing Board on which Mr Farren’s party sits. What have the SDLP said about this case and about the general bad attitude of the PSNI to the Irish language, an attitude which is consistent with that of the RUC before it and which echoes with the bad old days. It’s time the SDLP addressed this issue and told people where they stand. Is it right that a person be arrested for speaking Irish and, afterwards, have their job endangered by the bringing of a vexatious and illfounded drunk and disorderly charge by the police against the Irish speaker.

    (This is my reading of the case which is due in court again next week.)

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    arrested for speaking Irish? You know that’s not true so why post it?

  • Cahal

    If SF support the RUC and sit in Stormont they will have lost at least one vote.

  • As JD and OC have already stated this is to be expected from the Stoops.

    Any further and necessary changes that Sinn Féin gain will expose the stoops premature movement on Policing.

    Despite what chief Umpa Lumpa Peter Hain said yesterday about Policing being acceptable in South Armagh and other Republican and Nationalist areas the reality is a lot different.

    Nationalists have seen just how ineffective the stoops have been in holding RUC/PSNI to account.

    In an attempt to ingratiate themselves further with the Brit establishment the stoops jumped too quickly, they sold their constitutents too cheaply.

    Even Martin Morgan and other Stoop members could see that at the time.

    Alex Attwood may enjoy rubbing shoulders, or any other bodily orrifice that he likes, with Huge Orde and others but I don’t think even the most ardent Stoop could with all good conscience say that he holds them to account.

    Sinn Féin will not be accepting less, we will not be moving on policing untill the time is right.

  • Mal One


    “Any further and necessary changes that Sinn Féin gain will expose the stoops premature movement on Policing” …what exactly are these further changes that are so essential?.

    “Nationalists have seen just how ineffective the stoops have been in holding RUC/PSNI to account” ….what are you talking about other than repeating meaningless old cliches.

    “….we will not be moving on policing until the time is right” ….what exactly has to happen to make the time right?.

  • kensei

    ““….we will not be moving on policing until the time is right” ….what exactly has to happen to make the time right?.”

    Devolution of justice powers.

    Pay Attention.

  • Limerick Lad

    Why is it that Sinn Fein/IRA always want everyone else to jump 1st and then they decide that other parties haven’t jumped high enough and ask for them to jump higher.

    It’s time for them to jump now, preferablly over the edge of a cliff and let the rest of the population of Ireland get on with it.

    No party that does not support the rule of law should be allowed in goverment.

  • DK

    “Devolution of justice powers”

    I am slow. What is this? Does it mean that the courts have to answer to local politicians, or something else – if so, what?

  • andy

    Great solution Limerick Lad. We need more of those to keep things going forward.

    Believing in the rule of law is a bit of a nebulous concept in Northern Ireland. Without meaning to start a huge bout of whaboutery, there has been significant ambiguity if not hostility shown to the forces of law and order by Unionist representatives on occasion (Whiterock riots last year come to mind). No one is calling for them to be suspended from the process (nor should they of course)

  • OIlibhear Chromaill

    Pakman, what do you mean I know it’s not true that the person involved was arrested for speaking Irish? That’s what she says, that’s what witnesses say. The police say otherwise. I know who to believe. You believe otherwise. Let’s not get into a debate about what we know to be true. Don’t indulge in I have debated this case elsewhere. My position is clear. So let’s agree to disagree.

  • Glen Taisie

    It is going to happen SF will support the PSNI

    Councillor Billy Leonard can go back to his policing career.

    SSRUC!!! Adams is a recruitee!!!

  • Limerick Lad

    The Party of “Whataboutery” in Northern Ireland always seems to me to be Sinn Fein who answer every question asked about their accountability with “What about….”

  • Glen Taisie

    1971 =SS/RUC

    2007 =SF/RUC