Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister said tonight he fears no man in his pursuit of the transfer of policing and justice powers to local politicians. Winding up the debate on the final stages of the policing and justice bill in the Assembly Mr Mc Guinness said:
“When I go home at night I don’t look over my shoulder at the SDLP — I don’t look over my shoulder at people who threatened my life. I live in the heart of the Bogside. I am not afraid of any of these people so I am not looking over my shoulder at the SDLP and I am not looking over my shoulder at people who are doing their damndest to try and destroy a process that many of us put our heart and soul into over fifteen years. So this is big stuff we are talking about. So the issue of the transfer of power is of critical importance to the entire community that we represent.”
The Bill now goes for royal assent. This happens at a time when the refusal of the Democratic Unionist Party to support the return of policing and justice powers is resulting in Sinn Fein warning that the entire Assembly’s future is in doubt. Peter Robinson is insisting his community needs comfort on a number of issues before policing justice powers can be devolved.