The Power of Persuasion

Before: Today’s Newshound links to an Irish Democrat article by Father Joe McVeigh railing against the new MI5 building going up in Holywood. It’s a hot, strong article, claiming, the new base is “literally entrenching the intelligence agency’s position in Ireland”, is a “sinister development on Irish soil”, that “MI5 has shown nothing but contempt for democracy and for the Irish people throughout its history”. He writes, “By giving MI5 primacy in intelligence-gathering next year, the British are ensuring that those making the crucial security decisions in the north escape the transparency and equality requirements which apply to the PSNI.” He also states, “The old RUC became the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and so far it is under the direct control of the British government at Westminster.”

After:Here is his letter to The Irish News, printed last week.

The pain is worth the gain on north’s policing

FATHER Joe McVeigh

After attending a public meeting on policing in Ballyconnell and hearing the arguments of Gerry Adams and others, I am convinced that Sinn Fein is right in signing up to the new policing and justice arrangements in the six counties.

I understand this is difficult for some people but I believe the political and moral gain is worth the pain.

In the context of the St Andrews Declaration about powersharing and the timetable for the devolution of powers over policing and justice to the assembly, Sinn Fein is preparing to take responsibility for policing and justice in the north and is determined to make these institutions accountable.

Sinn Fein leaders have negotiated a clear path ahead for bringing about the ‘new beginning to policing’ promised in the Belfast Agreement.

The Patten Commission recommended how that might be. Many of us made it our business to ensure that Patten would make serious and radical proposals about policing in the six counties.

We did so because we felt that we had something to contribute. After all, the people who suffered at the hands of the RUC and MI5 were and still are the experts on policing.

The Patten proposals if fully implemented offer a new beginning.

Sinn Fein has, rightly in my view, till now refused to take part in the new policing boards.

However, having negotiated to wrest control of policing from the British and having secured assurances about the future role of MI5, they are now able to engage with policing.

As the O’Loan report shows we need accountable policing.

Never again can we have political policing.

Never again will the police service in the six counties be seen as the preserve of unionism nor can it be used to bolster unionism.

We cannot leave policing to the unionists and the SDLP.

By joining the policing boards Sinn Fein will be taking responsibility on behalf of the republican people in the six counties.

It seems logical at this stage in the political process to support the Sinn Fein leadership in taking this momentous step.

It always takes courage to move forward.

It is groundbreaking in historical terms when a community moves forward – united and clear about the ultimate goal – an inclusive Irish republic based on equality and respect for human rights.

It is in that context that I support the new approach to policing and justice.

FATHER Joe McVeigh
Co Fermanagh

  • overhere

    I am not sure what you are trying to say here is it that once someone makes a decision they cannot at a later date after listening to debate and reflection change their minds ?

  • Shore Road Resident

    What a drone.

  • Grassy Knoll

    The fact that the nefarious MI5 are blatantly setting up their stall in Ireland shows how the clever British and the smarmy Mr Blair have sold Sinn Féin a Pig in a Poke…

  • Cromwell

    Personally, I think we can do without Catholicism lecturing us on anything other than Catholicism. The silly, bigoted old fool.

  • Grassy Knoll

    “we can do without Catholicism lecturing us on anything other than Catholicism”

    So then, the Rev. Robert Coulter, Rev Ian Paisley, Rev Willy McCrea and other notable Protestant reverends should have nothing to say to us, unless it is from the the King James Bible?

    Cop yersel on hi…

  • middle-class taig

    Mick Fealty

    Time for a red card, I think. Especially seeing as you’ve red-carded others for much less.

    Or are the rules for Catholic priests different?

  • HolySmoke

    And don’t forget the “Pastors” who rightly
    have their spake from time to time on the Ulster
    political scene:

    Pastor Clifford “Pipebomb” Peeples and ex-UFF killer Rev. Kenny McClinton…

    Shouldn’t be allowed

  • Yokel

    Red card my arse….if he called him a child molesting fenian, Provie loving, queer, buggery merchant then maybe….

  • middle-class taig


    You’ve rather enabled us to take the measure of you there. I am not surprised.

  • Cromwell

    Grassy Knoll,
    Cop yer ain self on, whatever the f*ck that means, but in the interests of balance; we can do without protestants lecturing us on anything other than protestantism, but at least I can understand the King James Bible, unlike Cannon Law!

  • Grassy Knoll


    good for you mucker. James was indeed a fine author-composers from that 17th century period…

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Priests, pastors etc should be allowed to speak on whatever subject they like, it’s only when people start paying attention to them that the problems start.

  • Yokel


    I havent expressed any view on the topic other than the red card ref whinging. By your account posts mentioning those lovely Prod Pastors etc should also mean dismissal because they arent much different.

    I have no problem with either the post you took the hump with or the mentioning of the Clintons of this world. If people put themselves up with public statemenst they are there to be disagreed with. Nice attempt to through the blanket on me but didnt work.

    No sale.

  • re: Yoke’s 12:30 PM posting… I’d like to counter with the most recently discussed cases…

    Rev David Templeton, a Presbyterian clergyman who died in March 1997, six weeks after a vicious beating by a UVF gang (Haddock & co) in his Newtownabbey home after recently finishing at his church following questioning by police about gay pornos from Holland.

    Kenneth Best, 62, a former president of the Methodist Church in Ireland, pleaded guilty to six charges of indecent assault

    Slugger Admin, when are you going to deal with the abusive comments / ‘ball not man’ made in this thread?

  • middle-class taig

    Yokel, was that some form of middle English, ’cause I found it pretty indecipherable.

    Mick, so you can’t call a journalist a banshee, but you can call a Catholic priest a silly, bigoted, old fool? Talk me through the reasoning, would you?

  • Yokel

    Thats ok MCT, not my problem if you dont get it.

    I don’t blame you, I blame the education system that perhaps failed you………here, have a pat on the back.

  • Yoda

    I’m no fan of the Catholic church, but the name-calling does seem to contradict the site rules.

    I don’t know how Mick will handle it, but there are clear policy application inconsistencies as MCT has pointed out.

  • Red Mist

    Fr. Joe has let himself down big style. Either he was very ill informed whilst completing his first article or is very easily lulled by the ‘leader’.

    This is puzzling. It would appear that Fr. Joe has inferred that his knowledge of policing is quite extensive. I would hazzard a guess that it is in fact quite detailed.

    This is why I cannot fathom for the life of me how this experience and knowledge could be turned on its head after a public meeting full of platitudes and spin. Lets be honest here, I was at three of these meetings and there is no detail, nothing new, nothing with solid foundations. It is all trust us we wont let you down, we need to get our hands on the levers of power, blah blah blah. It appears that Fr. Joe is just another of a long line of drones who worship from the altar of Adams.

  • middle-class taig


    It appears that Mick is an absentee landlord in this respect. Maybe that’ll get me another red card. I do, after all, fit the profile.

  • Yokel on Jan 31, 2007 @ 04:50 PM wrote “I don’t blame you, I blame the education system that perhaps failed you..” about the supposed education of MCT.

    Can I post about MCT’s assumed education that in Scotland (a land similar to NI in so far as ‘balmy climate’ and institutionalized sectarianism)…

    Catholic schools are better, and that’s the blunt truth:
    CAMERON HARRISON, a former chief executive of the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum, is a consultant and adviser to governments on education policy. He was recently ordained as a minister of the Church of Scotland.

    MCT, you might say “been there and bought the tee shirt”…

    Yoke, please keep it going… you make it so easy for me.

  • lapsedmethodist

    Q. Who was the first priest ?
    A. The first priest was the first rogue who met the first fool.

    Where is Robspierre when we need him.

  • BeardyBoy


    Why am I surprised that that you do not understand cannon law?

    At least the King James Bible is understandable to you.

    Have you ever tried to learn Canon Law or would that be beyond you?

  • Cromwell

    I have neither the time nor the energy, I have a life to lead & I can do without learning the hypocrisies of the catholic faith. So therefore it probably is beyond me.
    I will, however, ask my ex, who is currently studying theology, thats if she’s still talking to me.
    Maybe thats what you were doing at 2.52am.
    Get some sleep big lad.

  • BeardyBoy

    Yes Cromwell – I am sure your ignorance is blissful for you – as for your other comments – if that reveals your mindset no wonder she is your ex

  • Cromwell

    Possibly reveals more about your mindset beardyboy.

  • BeardyBoy

    Just observing yours – you are condemned from your mouth, I did not make any crude allusions or statements – you did.

  • Cromwell

    Condemned from my mouth? Wasnt aware,Beardy, that you & I were on speaking terms. Would it be at all possible that I meant you were up learning Canon Law at that hour or is that beyond the scope of your one track mind!
    By the way, if you read this today you can wish me a happy birthday.

  • BeardyBoy

    Missed birthday by half hour and since semantics mean a lot to you condemned by your written word

  • Cromwell

    Thanks anyway Beardy, the ex got in touch, by the way, with good wishes, but seemed reluctant to discuss Canon Law.