It’s been a busy week for the Northern Ireland Secretary of State [and his butler? – Ed]. Apart from today’s kerfuffle, there has been a poll to publish, and publicise, the Prime Minister to meet, and greet, and on Wednesday Shaun Woodward, MP, was at the Police Federations Annual Conference where he praised “The bravery and dedication of PSNI officers [which] has resulted in a police service that is embraced by all sections of the community in a new Northern Ireland.” I’m not sure if he stayed to hear the chairman Terry Spence’s address.. As reported in the Irish Times
[Terry Spence] added: I urge everyone in politics to think long term about the greater good of Northern Ireland and to take whatever steps are necessary to stabilise the institutions so that we have a more secure future for everyone.
Mr Spence then challenged members of Sinn Féin to pass to the police any intelligence they have about the activities of so-called dissident republicans.
The federation firmly believes that many mainstream republicans, including members of Sinn Féin, know more than just the identities of dissident terrorists, he said.
Well, according to the IMC, the Provisional IRA have been “gathering information or intelligence” on them.. And According to a BBC report, the not-a-political-policeman Chief Constable Hugh Orde has intervened
Northern Ireland’s chief constable has urged politicians to resolve their differences in order to marginalise dissident republicans. Sir Hugh Orde said the failure to provide “political top cover” left a vacuum which dissidents were trying to exploit with attacks on police.