“those are decisions for the Chief Constable”

Mick’s already mentioned the cant from a tightrope walking Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams about Hugh Orde’s request for technical assistance from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. But there’s another point to be made about the statement Adams issued on Saturday on the same subject.

“There can be no place for so called British Special Forces within any civic and accountable policing structures.”

As Frank Millar reported in the Irish Times, speaking in the House of Commons yesterday the Northern Ireland Secretary of State was unambiguous about how, even when policing and justice powers are devolved, the Chief Constable will retain that operational ability.

“The decisions of the Chief Constable to call in technical back-up support, to which the hon. Gentleman was referring, would, of course, not change under any arrangements in the future for devolution; those are decisions for the Chief Constable.”

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  • And why should anyone relish the Special Reconnaissance Regiment prancing about on their soil? Apart from the fact that their actions are so secretive that they are, effectively above and beyond any level of democratic accountability by anyone in Northern Ireland they are also renowned for being hopelessly incompetent (cough cough de Menezes cough).

    They would also appear to have served in Iraq, where they were doubtless greeted with sweets and flowers, as were all the invaders.

    So: to repeat: who wants these people on their soil?

  • ArchiePurple

    I never cease to wonder about our so-called Peace Process….Going into Government with Sinn Fein/IRA was wrong in the eyes of the DUP when David Trimble did it, but right when they did it. Killing Soldiers and Policemen is wrong when the Dissidents [ex Provos in fact] do it, but was right when Sinn Fein/IRA did it and they have never apologised for their murders….

    So double-speak is the norm, especially from Adams….so here, courtesy of Edward Heathcoat Amory is a definition of WHAT THE WEASAL WORDS OF GERRY ADAMS REALLY MEAN:

    When Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, eventually responded to the murders in Northern Ireland, he was pedantic, chilly and distant. Instead of acting as any other democratic politician would, he avoided expressing any condolence or outrage. Here we look at what Adams said … and what he really meant.

    SAID: ‘Last night’s attack was an attack on the peace process. It was wrong and counter-productive.’

    MEANT: But it wasn’t evil, it wasn’t an outrage. I don’t condemn the killers or describe them as terrorists. I express no deep compassion for those killed or their families. I merely regret that some of my republican colleagues have made a tactical error.

    SAID: ‘ You may take some succour from the fact that whoever was involved have no support, no strategy and no popular will to back up their actions.’

    MEANT: What really matters is that my political position and future career prospects must not be affected by these killings.

    SAID: ‘Sinn Fein has a responsibility to be consistent. The logic of this is that we support the police in the apprehension of those involved in last night’s attack.’

    MEANT: But if you think for one minute that I or my Sinn Fein colleagues would actually hand over any of the killers, forget it.

    SAID: Asked why he hadn’t expressed condolences: ‘The Sinn Fein statement (describing the killings as counterproductive) was totally and absolutely unprecedented. The history of these islands … is that the British Army in Ireland is not wanted by republicans, by patriots or democrats.’

    MEANT: I was – though I now deny it – a senior IRA commander. I have never renounced violence, but merely accepted that for the moment politics is a more effective means to my ends than murder.

    SAID: ‘We’ve never tried to separate ourselves from the past, we’ve tried to live in the future.’

    MEANT: Those in Britain who believe that when we entered the ‘peace process’ I and other Sinn Fein leaders drew a line under the violence of the past make a profound mistake. No Irish republican leader will ever give up our grudge against Britain, or our ambition of a united Ireland nor will we accept that there will never be any more killings in pursuit of that grudge.

    SAID: ‘The chief constable made a huge mistake, bringing in undercover British Army units. The involvement of these units in the past has led to the same type of suffering that has unfortunately been endured by the families of the two British soldiers who were killed.’

    MEANT: We’ve done our best to destroy the ability of the security forces to control us by dismantling the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and one stubborn chief constable who believes that republican murderers shouldn’t be allowed to plot in peace isn’t going to stop us. If I have my way, he’s the one who’ll get the blame for Sunday’s killings.

    SAID: ‘The real issue is that the threat to a peace process in Ireland has to be combated, and that puts a huge responsibility on Gordon Brown … to actively defend the peace process, and it puts a big onus on the police to act accordingly also.’

    MEANT: And absolutely no responsibility on Sinn Fein, because as always, the killing and the atrocities are never our fault.

  • picador

    We all know how the unionists like to get excited about British Special Forces. Perhaps they want a few more martyrs on the republican side.

    Not a smart idea.

  • jerry pepin

    can anyone tell me why the media are convinced that the purpose of these attacks was to divide SF from the DUP ?

    Surely dissidents knew perfectly well that SF would side with the British and one of the purposes was to make that crystal clear;not to split SF from the DUP but to split SF from Republican grass roots so that dissident groups can reap the benefit.

  • Yip, we have the RIRA, the CIRA, and now we have that other terrorist group formerly known as FRU, great!!!

  • Pete Baker

    It might help any potential conversation about the original post if people focused on the actual detail.

    Here’s a hint.

    It matters not a jot what Gerry or anyone here thinks of the SRR.

    Any request by the police for their assistance is now, and will remain so in the future, entirely a decision for the Chief Constable to take.

  • Henry94

    If the special forces are deployed then it will be a victory for the Real IRA. It may be for Orde to decide that he needs the help but it will be the dissidents who will be the ones forcing his hand. It will be their supporters who will crow about the situation and use it against the agreement.

    They won’t take votes off Sinn Fein. RSF finished behind the Workers Party in West Belfast and probably will again.

    But nationalists in many areas will continue to regard the police as something from outside. That mental reservation can’t be overcome by statements from Sinn Fein.