DUP’s ‘qualifying’ tests for Sinn Fein…

Jim Allister has some very plain words on the kinds of policing tests he wants to see imposed before his party gives any committements on the devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont:

– Encouragement to join the PSNI, which can be tested by seeing an upturn in Roman Catholic applications in future recruitment competitions, the next of which does not open until March.

– Publicly promoted direct co-operation with the police, demonstrated by a sustained increase in the flow of information about crime, of all types, from within nationalist communities, and including co-operation with the Historical Enquiries Team.

– An increased conviction rate, resulting not only from statements to the police but evidence being given in court, not just in high-profile cases, like the McCartney murder, but in all cases.

– A marked decrease in and end of association with organised crime in such areas as fuel smuggling and money laundering.

– Then, there is the important issue of the return of ill-gotten gains, highlighted by Dr Paisley MP as essential, both at St Andrews and in the News Letter on December 30 2006. Clearly, Sinn Fein has far to travel in this regard. Wholehearted support for the rule of law will see an end to Sinn Fein’s fatuous denial that the IRA was responsible for the Northern Bank robbery. You can’t be in support of the rule of law and the police and at the same time repudiate the intelligence findings of the police in order to excuse and accept “the word” of an illegal organisation.

– Ending association with an illegality is a key and defining issue. The IRA is an illegal organisation with military structures in place. No one can credibly be said to be supportive of the rule of law and supportive of an illegal organisation at one and the same time. Hence, the logic of disbandment of the IRA as a corollary to Sinn Fein acceptance of the rule of law. How could anyone be said to genuinely support the rule of law and at the same time support, endorse, justify, or be associated with an illegal “Army”, with an “Army Council” (It is less than two years since the Republic’s Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, publicly named Adams and McGuinness as members of the Army Council, and Bertie Ahern described Sinn Fein and the IRA as “both sides of the same coin”). So, the end of the IRA Army Council would seem an indispensable part of proof of support for the rule of law. The IMC’s next report will be watched with interest on this point.

– Critically, there is the pivotal issue of the warped republican view of criminality. Less than two years ago Mitchel McLaughlin declared on RTE that though the IRA murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville was ” wrong”, it was not a “crime”. Evidently, such a perverted view of criminality would make a nonsense of support for the rule of law. So, a clear affirmation from Sinn Fein that any breach of the criminal law of Northern Ireland, by anyone at any time, is and was unequivocally a crime, is a pre-requisite to meaningful commitments to oppose criminality. We have yet to hear such a declaration.

– Finally, the daily actions of Sinn Fein leaders must match their words. Glorification of terrorist acts is wholly incompatible with support for the rule of law. Three days after Adams spoke in Dublin of Sinn Fein preparing to support the police, he was in Fermanagh glorifying two IRA terrorists who met their just desserts when they attacked a police station.

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  • Yokel

    Hold on, haven’t we seen these words on Slugger already?

    Interesting though he isnt talking about devolution in itself, but P&J.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    A touch of sackcloth and ashes, anyone?

    This whole dance of a farce about prerequisites to powersharing reminds me of two nervous virgins thinking of excuses to not jump into bed with each other- new excuses and conditions being formulated every week. Shouldn’t it be enough for the DUP that Sinn Féin are even willing to give nominal support to the peelers?

    BTW, i’d like to hear bloggers opinions on the suggestion made in one of the sunday papers this weekend by a Republican (sorry I don’t have the exact details) that the Garda Suíochána be able to serve in the North, especially in Nationalist areas

  • Yokel


    The idea wont fly for some straightforward reasons.

    eg. they still have to work under the auspices of the rules, regs and procedures of the cops up here. They would have to be fully firearm trained on the relevant weapons and so forth. The list long both in mundane practicalities and also principles.

    The odd short secondment, sure, that happens probably already at midde levels but if im reading correctly what you say here its a fairly regular presence of Garda policing on the ground, however token.

    I think that its ok to float these ideas that are full of symbolism but the complexity of reality gets in the way.

  • overhere

    Is it only me or is anyone else thinking, strange how the DUP are all for the police when in previous years they were willing to fight them !! Law & Order party (but only when it suits us)

  • Glensman

    I seem to remember a photo on flickr of a DUP councillor posing in front of a UDA mural? An organisation which has not given up the gun. But Mr. Allister seems outraged about a commemoration for two volounteers who died in ’58?

    Hypocracy anyone?

  • kadenza

    oh deary me – this is utter fantasy land stuff.

  • middle-class taig

    Jim appears to be writing his resignation letter in instalments.

  • A lot of them are pretty reasonable, but some of them seem to be planted in there to ensure Sinn Fein say no and effectively pull the plug themselves… either that or their negotiating points.

    On the issue of Gardai serving in the North, there’s some mention of Gardai taking up positions in the PSNI and vice versa in the Garda Siochana Bill 2004 – I’m not certain what it effectively means (or if it’s just nationalist lip-service), but I figure it was put in there to make any tranfers easier than they may normally be – that is to say that a PSNI officer who wishes to move south wouldn’t have to train as a completely new recruit, while Gardai moving north would probably only need some training (in firearms, as suggested) but not fully training… although what a Garda has to do to get into the PSNI is a British matter, it’s not something Ireland can legislate for.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    In the ‘I am the toughest’ contest to see who will fill Paisleys boots can they not just wait till he old boy pops off. They’re only going to have to go through it all again when he eventually does go.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Hypocrite, not just in the past, but today. But really this is just so funny, I can’t get too angry.

    Allister: “You can’t be in support of the rule of law and the police and at the same time repudiate the intelligence findings of the police”

    Support for law and order should mean ‘intelligence findings’ are ignored and only convictions in open court are relevant.

  • Ian


    “Interesting though he isnt talking about devolution in itself, but P&J.”

    No, he’s talking about any devolution inclusive of Sinn Fein. Mick’s introductory paragraph is a misinterpretation of his statement in the full article and other statements he has made recently.

  • Sensible suggestions by Jim Allister – as the above responses prove.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Again you bore us with a ‘me too’ comment devoid of any reasoning or logic.

    Do you have anything to say?

  • Aaron,

    Sorry, I wasn’t aware that boring you was something for me to be in the least concerned about.

    But for the slow of thinking, let me just spell out that I believe Jim Allister conditions reflect widely held unionist views regarding IRA/Sinn Fein’s unsuitability to enter the chamber of democracy. Jim lays out some very practical criteria, which must be considered as a bare minimum. Now, do you understand that?

  • Nationalist

    Maybe this idiot could tell us all the last tme that DUP members carried out all these acts?