No Polish recruits for PSNI…

Mairtin reports that none of the 600 Polish applicants for posts within the PSNI actually landed a job. It was the language barrier that defeated most of them, though I am not sure that the “Unionist wet dream of meeting their Catholic recruitment criteria for the PSNI by processing hundreds of Poles through the training college” was anything more than a fancy amongst a few nationalist commenters on Slugger.

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  • “…Unionist wet dream of meeting their Catholic recruitment criteria for the PSNI by processing hundreds of Poles through the training college” was anything more than a fancy amongst a few nationalist commenters on Slugger”.


    I think you are being a bit misleading with that comment actually. You seem to give give the clear impression that most Nationalist commentors on this site were actually hoping in some way that Catholic vacancies would be filled by Poles. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most commentors were actually arguing that this would be an easy get-out-of-jail card for the PSNI, if this were to be happen.

    Many of us are quite pleased that this outcome has happened because it continues to highlight the fact that many young Nationalists from urban areas are not even applying for the PSNI. Both SF and the SDLP still have along, long way to go before they can build-up sufficient confidence in this police force to enable young people to apply.

  • Macswiney, how do you read ‘most nationalist commenters’ from ‘a few nationalist commenters’?

  • David

    There are a large number of Poles residing in Northern Ireland. It is a pity that not one of the 600 Polish applicants got a place. It is a pity that “minority participation” in NI seems to be solely confined to the “nationalist” minority.

  • interested

    Would the nationalist commenetors not have realised that Polish recruits would have been included in the ethnic minority category which go into the non-Catholic category i.e. they became defacto ‘Prods’. That’s 50-50 for you……

  • Mick Fealty


    Well, I’m not sure how your first can be read that way without adding considerably to what I’ve actually written.

    Your second, however, covers precisely where the ‘unionist wet dream’ arises from: i.e. speculation by nationalist commenters about what unionists really think.

    Whilst I’m all for speculation, it is hardly worth a great deal if it’s not based on reality. In this case it seems to be prematurely hardening into ‘common knowledge’.

  • DK

    McS: “Many of us are quite pleased that this outcome has happened because it continues to highlight the fact that many young Nationalists from urban areas are not even applying for the PSNI”

    You are

    pleased that your community remain isolated from the police. And this is just your perception – the 50:50 recruitment seems to be on track.

  • T-Rex

    From what I heard, none even got through the assessment centre and made it into the 50:50 pool.
    A lot of poles mistakingly think that due to their religion, they will receive preferential treatment. Unfortunately not

  • slug

    As a unionist what I dream of is good policing.

    The idea that I would dream that NI Catholics would be prevented from joining the police by the recruitment of Poles is in the realm of the absurd.

    But then a lot of what people say here about each other is precisely that.

  • Gréagóir O’ Fráinclín

    Catholics should sign up en masse. NI Catholics/Nationalists should participate fully in everything regarding NI society, even in supporting the NI soccer team as well.

  • gaelgannaire



  • Gréagóir O’ Fráinclín

    Why do you think?

    Social cohesion.

    Having a say from being on the inside rather than standing looking in from the outside.

    Ability to have a say in bringing about change.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think the most important part of Mairtin’s post has been missed out entirely:

    Perhaps now we can get down to the real debate about having republican representation in the ranks of the PSNI. Who cares whether a police officer is Catholic or Protestant for many of the most brutal RUC officers were Papishes. What’s more important is that the republican mindset and values be represented in the PSNI

    He seems to be suggesting that instead of applicants being asked which church they were born into (an accident of fate), they are asked which party they vote for!


    Obviously most Catholics just aren’t the right type of Catholic to be in the police for some republicans. Ticking a box saying which religion you are is a bad enough infringement of one’s privacy, but it has been largely accepted that some form of unfairness was needed to rectify past wrongs.

    But to have to declare one’s political beliefs is an even worse form of discrimination.

    In fact, I find it hard to believe that the Andytown News owner is so in favour of political policing.

  • DK

    Two points re your reply :

    Firstly, I think that a basic reading of the 50/50 recruitment statistics can be tremendously misleading. Even Sinn Fein have admitted that applications within Urban Nationalist areas like Belfast and Derry are virtually negligible. There is still a huge lack of confidence among young Nationalists (both male and female) in those areas.

    Secondly, I do want policing to work but I still think that certain sections of the police have a very different attitude to policing within Nationalist urban areas.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I’m quite tired of this nationalist=catholic typecast. It’s a sectarian shorthand which has past its sell by date. How many nationalists would regard themselves as genuine Catholics? This is after all an era in which Sunday shopping and driving has overtaken Sunday worship as the main weekend pastime. When you get or apply for a job in the north, you get to fill in a form inquiring whether you’re from a Catholic/Protestant background when what they really want to know is what their view on the big question is? Is there any point anymore, in a secular 21st century society, of maintaining a fiction that all nationalists are Catholic or vice versa or all unionists are Protestant or vice versa?

    I’d like to see a survey of the PSNI and all public bodies to see how many of the staff regard themselves as unionist or nationalist.

  • Frank Sinistra


    And I’m tired of people using Nationalist as a catch all term to incorporate Republicans.

    A true Irish Republican is not a Nationalist.

    It was SF that started this guff.

  • eranu

    macswiney, i dont think confidence is the right word. it conjures up images of trembling nervous little boys, edging towards a policeman in the street to ask him a question. if only they could summon up the ‘confidence’ to approach him… its not confidence, its just some people are still conditioned to be against their own police force.
    the problem is that people in nationalist areas have been brain washed into thinking that the police are the bad guys. its been the SF message over and over and over, to demonise the police. to suggest that the police are there to protect you from crime is like saying the earth is flat to them. its this view that needs to be corrected. people just need to get their heads round the fact that its abnormal to be opposed to the police force. yes, i think it needs to be put in terms of ‘this is normal’ ‘this is not normal’ to get it through to people.
    if people in the nationalist urban areas were to talk to people from other western countries they would waken up from the conditioned view of being against the police in an instant.

  • Sure it would have been a good thing if there had been some Polish recruits – it’s useful to have officers who understand the language and culture of minorities in a society. Maybe after another year of picking up the language they will do better.

    For that matter, how many Chinese officers do we have? Or how many Cantonese or Mandarin speakers?

    On the other hand, this highlights an important issue. Isn’t it a more important goal to have immigrants quickly achieving an effective level of English, than to have everything translated into every possible other language?

  • Eranu,

    Those comments are so far removed from reality that I was not even going to reply to be honest. What you actually need to do Eranu is to go into one of these areas (which clearly you have never been to in your life) and experience what is going on.

    You have used your post to attack SF but it is they who are actually leading the way in trying to get people to co-operate fully with policing. Unfortunately, many people (myself included) have had extremely bad experiences with the police over many years.

    I have to say your attitude towards people in these areas is both extremely demeaning and condescending. Your implications and descriptions of people being brainwashed are utterly ludicrous. You need to step into the real world…

  • IJP

    Leaving aside the fact that to qualify as “Catholic”, you actually also have to be Northern Irish.

    So Nationalists were defending partition, as well as a basic breach of human rights and discrimination against ethnic minorities.

  • McClafferty

    Maybe there might be more justice for Irish Republicans who don’t buy into the so called “reformed RUC” if there were Pols on the police force.

    The RUC/PSNI has not been able to prove their charges/case against Gerry
    McGeough since his arrest back in March ’07 on 25 year old trumped up charges.
    They have now asked for a postponement on Gerry’s hearing until July 18, 2007
    while they ask the Garda for information on Gerry while he was attending
    Trinity College in Dublin over 7 years ago. In the interim, Gerry is under
    house arrest since March and has appeared in court 4 times only to have every
    appearance postponed at the request of the RUC. His legal fees are mounting and
    he cannot earn a living while under house arrest.

    It is imperative that the new Minister of Justice for Ireland, Mr. Brian T.
    Lenihan, does not allow the Garda to assist the RUC/PSNI in any investigation
    of Gerry McGeough or any other Irish Republican from the north for that
    matter – simply due to the fact that they would still be subject to a Diplock
    court hearing/trial and therefore justice would not be served in their case(s).

    Anyone looking for justice to be served in Gerry McGeough’s case or any
    other Irish Republican under attack by the RUC now, should contact the Minister
    of Justice in Ireland (email: _info@justice.ie_ ( )
    (mailing address: 94 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland) and ask him NOT to
    assist in this witch hunt and continued harassment of Irish Republicans in the
    north who did not buy into the so-called “reformed RUC/PSNI”. For further
    details go to

  • eranu

    macswiney, i had a job in the early 90s that took me to all parts of belfast, right into the residential areas. id never been to the nationalist areas before. i noticed alot of anti RUC graffiti, there was nothing like that where i was from. it was on walls at junctions and street corners, places where people would pass each day and see the messages over and over. im not trying to offend people who live there, but i think that seeing these messages everywhere and hearing SF constantly attacking the police and trying to make them look bad is going to have an effect on peoples opinions in the area.
    do you think that in a peaceful society its normal for entire residential districts of average law abiding people to have the exact same anti police opinion? i dont. if you went to Tours in France, do you think that the entire west of the city is anti police? course not. thats the ‘real world’.

    i cant believe you think SF are ‘leading the way’ with policing. in my opinion they are the ones that have created the anti police mindset in these areas. its the pressure from the rest of society and the wider world that has forced them to grudgingly accept the police. every time you see them on the news its obvious that its killing them to tell people to give information to the police.

  • I Wonder

    I have long had the impression that antagonism to the police (including satisfaction at their murder) was a somewhat disproprotionate response to being treated “badly” by the police in some ill-defined way, much as macswiney does above.

    Now, being searched and manhandled isnt a terribly pleasant experience, but it happens all the time at airports these days. What it does not instil in me is a burning detestation of the security staff or a wish to see them all sacked nor does it lead me to support those who would have them killed. Thats because I regard them as fellow human beings.

  • Sean

    eranu/i wonder

    You think daily harrasment of women and children, having your house searched with out warrant, having to take the baby out of the pram so some gormless twit with a gun can go poking through it, to being sexually assaulted(yes in todays terms thats exactly what it is) by some squaddie because you live in the wrong estate and being spat upon and cursed by bozos in uniform are not enough reasons to hate the police, what exactly does qualify as a good reason?

    Maybe its the shooting dead of little children in the street by police officers with itchy trigger fingers and indiscriminate aim?

    Maybe its internment with out trial or evidence on the say so of the same gormless twit who spent 20 minutes checking your wife for weapons?

    Maybe its the police forcing through the parade of a bunch of bigoted drunks so that they can demonstrate their imagined superiority ?

    Maybe just maybe?

    And before you ask for proof go to the Cain report and read about the Nationalists expieriences in the troubles, says it more eloquently and truthfully then I ever could.

    But then you aren’t about believing facts that don’t support your own bigotry are you?

  • snakebrain


    None of those things would lead me to “wish to see them all sacked nor does it lead me to support those who would have them killed”, which is what I wonder originally said.

    Does that make me a bigot too?

  • abucs

    Maybe we can base the 50:50 rule on whether the potential recruit is more likely to support Rangers or Celtic ?? :o)

  • 2050

    The southern Goverments Justice Ministers position on this is interesting.

    “The Government wants to ensure that the future intake of recruits to An Garda Siochana reflect the composition of Irish society today. I believe that representation of all communities, including ethnic minorities, in the membership of An Garda Siochana is an essential factor in achieving excellence in a policing service for Ireland. In 2005, I made changes to the entry rules to An Garda Siochana with the aim of removing barriers to recruitment to the Force and the achievement of the Garda Commissioner’s strategic objective of encouraging recruitment from ethnic minorities. These changes illustrate the commitment of the Government and An Garda Siochana to effective policing in a more diverse society, and we are already seeing this reflected in recruitment with 4 recruits currently in training and further applications currently being processed.”

    Perhaps when the executive’s justice minister gets his / her start they could clarify the latest position for the PSNI

    4 out of the 1100 recruited per year isn’t that impressive but that was back in 2005 which was a long time ago in todays world.

    Interestingly, I was in Starbucks on Dame street last week the Guard in the queue in front of me was from the Chinese community ! Perhaps he was one of the 4 the minister was talking about back in 2005,

    Garda FAQ on the matter;

    Can a citizen from any country join?

    Applicants to join must be:

    (a) A national of a European Union Member State, or

    (b) A national of an EEA State or the Swiss Confederation, or

    (c) Be a refugee under the Refugee Act, 1996, or

    (d) Have a period of one year’s continuous residence in the State immediately before the 1st September, 2005 and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years. (Periods of illegal residence or residence as an asylum seeker do not count in the qualifying five year period).

  • Briso

    Posted by I Wonder on Jun 21, 2007 @ 12:01 PM
    >Now, being searched and manhandled isnt a
    >terribly pleasant experience, but it happens all
    >the time at airports these days. What it does
    >not instil in me is a burning detestation of the
    >security staff or a wish to see them all sacked
    >nor does it lead me to support those who would
    >have them killed. Thats because I regard them as
    >fellow human beings.

    If you were singled out repeatedly because your name gave you away as being a Catholic, do you think it might cause you to feel a chill factor when considering a career in the security guard organisation?

  • I Wonder

    I still wouldn’t want them all sacked or killed.

    And you (and others) make big assumptions that my real name is not “indicative” of my religion and that the expression of my opposition to hatred of the police somehow marks me as not being Catholic?.