RUC Athletics Association: it hasn’t gone away you know

Following on from Mick’s piece about the Royal Ulster Constabulary Athletics Association. The BBC are reporting that the motion to change the name of the association has been dropped.

From the BBC:

The move has been welcomed by unionist politicians.
DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt called on ACC Kerr to resign as chairman of the association.
The TUV leader Jim Allister said the move had provoked anger among the members who met on Thursday morning to discuss the issue.
Mr Allister said ACC Kerr needed to tell people where the threat to funding came from.
The move was also welcomed by the Ulster Unionist leadership candidate Mike Nesbitt
Earlier this week the plan was also criticised by the first minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson who rejected claims that future funding was dependent on dropping the RUC title.

  • tacapall

    “The move has been welcomed by unionist politicians.”

    Well that’s a surprise.

    Police chief defends his stance on name change

    The police chief said: “It is grossly unfair to suggest that this proposal is an attempt to airbrush former RUC officers’ contributions. This is not about symbolism or signs, and it is not about politics or disrespecting the past.” Describing the new name as

    “a more generic and inclusive title”, the chairman said it would make the association “more comfortable for all colleagues and friends, officers and staff, past present and future”.

    “Furthermore, the more generic Police Athletic Association Northern Ireland is the title by which the association was known in the 1930s and 1940s, and any suggestion we are disrespecting the past clearly demonstrates little appreciation of the history of the association.”

    I guess those members of the PSNI who refuse to be associated with the RUC title will have to form their own association.

  • London_Irish

    Well said tacapall,

    I’m sure there are plenty of post-Patten officers out there who only chose to join the polics following the recommended reforms. It isn’t much of a welcome for them to the associated Athletics Association if they too won’t embrace the change.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Given that Catholics recruited under the sectarian 50:50 policy are racing ahead of their Protestant colleagues in resigning in the less than five years service category will there be enough left around to form a five-a-side football team?

    If there’re finding the policing kitchen too hot sweating in the New Forge gym might not be something they’d be too interested in (no matter what name hangs over the door) 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s all a wee bit cryptic.. I really cannot get to the bottom of this one… Who called for the change, and who backed down? The DUP seem to know but they aren’t telling or naming names..

  • sherdy

    They don’t want to go away, you know!

  • tacapall

    Mick an honest effort from those within the PSNI who want to move into a new area was ambushed by Unionist politicians falling over themselves to get an extra rung up the, we’re the most Unionist ladder. Its hardly about funding more like trying to wrestle the association away from those who refuse to embrace their PSNI colleagues.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yeah, well, I’d feel a bit better if when asked to take the story seriously the key detail was put out into the open…

    It’s like someone just stepped out of one of those famous smoke filled rooms and shouted “hey everybody, someone’s trying to shaft us here…”

    I don’t like being used as part of a public convenience to some sub rosa power game…

  • London_Irish


    Have you a link to the statistics, re Catholic drop out rate from PSNI? Not doubting you in the slightest, just don’t recall them being published – I am interested to see the way they were interpreted by the media.

  • cynic2

    Why should they go away? Haven’t they a right to be here? What about Parity of Esteem (TM) old chap?

  • cynic2

    “the key detail was put out into the open…”

    Clearly for something like this to come up at this point, somewhere said something to make them move on the name. So who was it? I suspect the poor ACC is the fall guy for others outside PSNI and at the top.

  • lamhdearg2

    should Kerr not be forced ( by the policing board?) to explain his comments, deja vu.

  • lamhdearg2

    “Given that Catholics recruited under the sectarian 50:50 policy are racing ahead of their Protestant colleagues in resigning in the less than five years service category”

    i cant believe that almost three hours after this was posted, we have not had someone claim it as proof that anti catholic bias is rampant in the psni.

  • Tapacall. The most cutting and honest assessment of this saga I’ve seen yet.Still, we’ve not heard from Jeffrey yet so too early too judge.