On the Politics Show today Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd clarified his party’s position on the seizure of the assets of Sean Hughes and the previous comments by Northern Ireland Executive Ministers, SF’s Michelle Gildernew and Hughes’ “good friend” Conor Murphy.
[John O’Dowd] “The concerns around the raid on Sean Hughes house is this. It was organised by Soca which is a front for the MI5 and other organisations who still believe that they can defeat republicanism whether it be in south Armagh or across Ireland. They failed over these last three decades and they’re going to fail in the future.”
That would be the MI5 who have a new £20million regional headquarters at Loughside, Palace Barracks, Holywood, County Down, and who, under new chief Jonathan Evans, took over official responsibility for national security here in October 2007 – as the 35 MI5 officers seeking anonymity in a current RIRA trial demonstrates. What is to happen to those responsibilities, or rather the memoranda of understanding on them, remains to be disclosed. But if Sinn Féin really believe what John O’Dowd has said, why are they not calling for the police to stop co-operating with the Serious Organised Crime Agency?