Robinson slates ACC Finlay

First Minister Peter Robinson has launched a stinging attack on ACC Alistair Finlay who challenged him and Martin Mc Guinness to show a united front against the rioting in recent days. As I noted this morning, Mr Finlay said on the Nolan Show this morning that neither the First or deputy first minister had been in touch with him in the run up to the Twelfth. This afternoon Peter Robinson and Matin Mc Guinness issued a statement.

Mr Robinson roundly condemned the violence and then turned his attention to the comments of the senior PSNI in charge of the Twelfth in Belfast. He said:

“I am disappointed to hear some of the comments from ACC Finlay and look forward to meeting with the Chief Constable shortly to discuss the events of the last forty eight hours and ACC Finlay’s unhelpful and unacceptable remarks. We must keep our entire focus on defeating those who would seek through violence and destruction to drag us back.

“I would like to thank the PSNI officers on the ground for all their efforts to restore law and order to our streets. In particular my thoughts and prayers are with the policewoman injured in the course of her duties last night. I trust she will make a speedy recovery.

Mr Mc Guinness said:

“Our experience demonstrates that the way to deal with any disputes or contention is through dialogue and agreement. There are numerous examples that show this to be the way forward. We are currently consulting on legislation that aims to provide a workable framework for dealing with contentious parades. Let’s be clear there is no excuse for the violent scenes and attacks on police, property and the community that we have witnessed in recent days.

“We are resolute in our commitment to tackle sectarianism and will continue to work with all communities to promote good relations. This will require the community to stand united against all those forces seeking to bring conflict back on to our streets.”

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  • Cynic

    Robbo exposed yet again ….but of course he only speaks to the Chief Constable not his underlings ……….

  • iluvni

    When are the DUP going to replace lame duck Robinson?

  • Peter Fyfe

    In reality, what good would it have done? Who really thinks a joint statement from them two would have kept people away from the trouble?

    In Mark’s thread, he is highlighting how Gerry Kelly now places more blame on the protesters than the parades for the trouble. If the locally elected republican representative for Ardoyne is calling for a stop to the trouble what more will a joint statement had added? Maybe ACC Finlay should concentrate on the policing and not the politics.

    I should point out the only people I have sympathy for is those who live there and have to put up with the parades and rioting while we sit back and fight our troubles over another micro-battle that we can stay clear off. And of course those officers just trying to earn a living and acting on decisions made by an alternate body. Is that not how we nationalists thought parading must be dealt with after all?

  • Cynic

    “Maybe ACC Finlay should concentrate on the policing and not the politics.”

    Nonsense. Why were Peter and Martin not out pro-actively sorting this before it happened or have both post all credibility in their communities?

  • Cynic

    When someone gets the conjones to tell him its time to go

  • Comrade Stalin

    Finlay was correct to point out that the total silence of our political leadership in the face of serious riots was a travesty.

    I would have thought that Robinson would have worked out by now that shooting the messenger is not the way to make political progress.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Eamonn, your suggestion on Twitter that they need to have a few in-depth talks sessions to sort this out is about the best proposal yet.

  • belfast greyhound

    What is really so sad here is that one of them talks with a lofty disdain for anything that might suggest that his grip on reality is in the least insecure and the other simply runs out a stream of platitudes to explain away rather than explain a situation. The failure of the FMDFM to think ahead to deal with potential problems should they actually occur is absolutely frightening for the future.

  • Peter Fyfe


    Your touching on my point there, neither has any credibility with the dissidents who wanted to riot no matter what, it would have been nothing more than political grandstanding for the sake of it. Nearly anybody I have chatted to personally has been disgusted by the trouble but the broader opinion has no impact on these microbattles certain people like to make a name for themselves over. It is a very small percentage on either side that really feel parades must go through at such cost to the taxpayer or feel rioting was justified last night. A joint statement would not change this or that small groups feelings.

  • Peter Fyfe

    Maybe I should re examine what I have written before. My point was not to defend OFMDFM, I just to question whether a statement would have played in any part in averting trouble last night. I really don’t believe it would. I have no problem with good intentions, they are to be applauded. I am firmly of the belief though that this public dressing down by a senior police officer will not have provided anything positive and in no way prevent further trouble.

    Some dissidents will be laughing at such a public dressing down for Marty coming from a senior police officer. That will really help the Shinners credibility next time they try to help calm the situation.

  • iluvni

    Wouldnt it simply be better for us all to have robust policing, where rioting has immediate consequences for those rioting?

    The thugs on Broadway rioted on Sunday night for 4 hours. How many were arrested? Apart from risking a drenching, what was the deterrent to stop them getting some practise in for the biggie at Ardoyne the next night. Nothing.

  • vanhelsing

    Don’t think Gerry or Peter [or even Marty – with or without his Thompson] have the suuport on the ground in this area to make headway on the issue. ACC shouldn’t have made these comments.

    Anyway the IRSP and those attached groups have their own agenda anyway. It’s up to the residents and Loyal Orders to sort this out and agree what needs to be done to facilitate a way forward.

    Do you really think the rioting would have been prevented by the boys on the hill sitting down in the local library for a chat?

  • Wasted Ballot

    they could get rid of him but no one can fill his strategy they are stuck with him

  • So there we have the DUP, that great unionist defender, launching an attack on the police, and backed up by Sinn Fein.

    Who’d have ever thought it…