“Stay out of politics”

Sinn Fein’s Junior Minister Gerry Kelly has hit back at the most senior police officer on duty in Belfast in the past two nights during the rioting. ACC Alistair Finlay challenged the First and deputy first ministers to say why they have not “stepped out” to jointly condemn the violence of past forty eight hours the cost of which Chief Constable Matt Baggott claims would build a hospital or a primary school.

Responding to Mr Finlay’s reference to Martin Mc Guinness and Peter Robinson the Sinn Fein Assembly member said in Ardoyne “to get a joint statement you need agreement and I agree the joint statements are of value. Martin Mc Guinness had been in touch with me a number of times yesterday and he knows how I think. He is in Derry and I am here. I agree with yourselves a joint statement would assist .

“Let me say this about ACC Finlay. In his own way he should stay out of politics. If he wants to talk to the First and deputy First ministers all he has to do is to lift the phone. I lifted the phone to him and spoke with him yesterday. I argued with him no matter how bad the situation appeared that they should not use plastic bullets that people could get killed.”

Dozens of plastic baton rounds were fired. The PSNI say over eighty officers sustained a range of injuries during the street violence.

  • Micky Harvey

    Finlay has every right to question the politicians. He’s trying to help the country whilst DUP and SF sit back and watch it go to hell. The Orange Order are a bunch of wind up merchants who for the sake of a few concessions could save the country a lot of hassle. And the nationalists are pushing their luck, how much longer do they think they can carry on like this before the loyalists kick off too? The lot of them care nothing for the country, how did such a beautiful place come to be cursed with such idiots?

  • Alan maskey

    McGuinness and the Chief Consatable could join an Orange march through Ardoyne or maybe set fire to Holy Cross School as part of their reaching out project. Either that or stop the coat trailers.
    M Harvey: What is so beautiful about North belfast, which was designed as a slum?

  • Cynic

    …the Gerry should keep out of Policing too.

  • Cynic

    North Belfast wasn’t designed as a slum but in many areas it has become one. Upper and Lower Ardoyne are cases in point. Now whose faults are that?

  • redhugh78

    ‘…condemn the violence the cost of which Chief Constable Matt Baggott claims would build a hospital or a primary school’
    How many hospitals /primary schools could be built with the money spent on policing orange parades every year full stop?

  • Paddler

    A bill is urgently needed to ensure that road closures are limited to sporting events or genuine cross community parades. The Orange Order are an unhelpful anachronism; they would think twice about parading if they became liable for the associated policing bills, all criminal injuries/damage caused and the subsequent clean up costs.

    ACC Finlay remarks are born of frustration and display lack of foresight, but are essentially correct.

    Gerry Kelly and Martin McGuinness need to neutralise the threat from organised dissident republicans. These people are, if anything, a greater threat to them than anyone else.

    [Text removed – Friendly warning, your first post on Slugger will be the last if you keep that kind of man playing up – mods]

    New balls please.