“By moving so quickly to criticise a police investigation and question the motives of the officers involved…”

Fianna Fail have responded to Mary Lou McDonald’s Morning Ireland interview on the Adams arrest with this statement from the Security spokesman Niall Collins:

Gerry Adams has been arrested in connection with the murder of Jean McConville. That is an ongoing police inquiry and I do not believe that politicians from any quarter should interfere with or undermine the work of the investigation team. In that context I believe the comments of his colleague Mary Lou McDonald are particularly inappropriate and ill-judged and should be withdrawn.

“By moving so quickly to criticise a police investigation and question the motives of the officers involved, it is Deputy McDonald who has introduced politics into this inquiry. Talking of sinister ‘unionist influenced’ elements within the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as Deputy McDonald has done, harks back to some of the worst and most divisive rhetoric of the past and could be seized on by dissident groups.

“Her comments are also completely insensitive to the memory of Jean McConville, whose family have already suffered enough and whose son has welcomed the arrest. She should withdraw them at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Collins and his party leader Micheal Martin have been one of the few trenchant critics of Sinn Fein’s playing two ends of the middle approach to policing in Northern Ireland.

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  • Meanwhile, this morning’s briefing by Dave Cameron’s spokesman: ” “This is entirely, and rightly so, an independent police matter”.

    Now, let us muse on the political arithmetic there: N Ireland + policing = “independent”?

    Stop chortling in the back, there!

  • redstar2011

    We’ll lets cut to the chase

    If the Shinners have now woken up to the fact that the Psni /Ruc are still wedded to political policing- will they still be bleating at the Nat /Rep community to support such a force????

  • Shibboleth

    I hope I’m wrong in what I say next. It is possible that there may have been pressure by the British Govt in light of the OTR scandal to put pressure on to police to push forward in questioning Sinn Fein/IRA figures ahead of an election to give reassurance to Unionist voters that no one appears to be beyond the long arm of the law. If they hadn’t got Gerry in for questioning then perhaps they would have focused on someone else. It may sound cynical but the OTR process shows what goes on when political pressure is applied behind the scenes. Whatever happens I hope the various victims’ families get real justice.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    ‘If the Shinners have now woken up to the fact that the Psni /Ruc are still wedded to political policing- will they still be bleating at the Nat /Rep community to support such a force????”

    As someone pointed out earlier on another thread;
    What if the police did have the evidence to arrest him but failed to do so, surely that would be political policing too?

    Yes, there are a lot of other victims out there not receiving/never will receive justice.

    But what to do?

    Wait till the evidence exists to arrest EVERYONE at the same time?

    Arrest no one?

    Arrest those as and when the evidence may surface?

    I’m sorry that not enough RUC men or army men have been arrested for your liking.
    Does that mean that everyone else must suffer too?

    I don’t see why the leader should get off the hook IF they’ve found evidence on him.

    If they haven’t then he’ll be released.

  • redstar2011

    You seem to miss the point that only 24 hours before this the British told us that the slaughter of those in the Ballymurphy massacre didn’t even merit investigation let alone arrests.

    I am opposed to SF and if GA now finds himself in diffs with a force he has been telling us are fair and honest- the ironys on him.

    But let’s not try and pretend that everyone’s equal before the law.

    How many British soldiers in the whole decades of the troubles ended up on a murder conviction. Nuff said.

  • Son of Strongbow

    So Sinn Fein’s ‘Clean Skin’ has adhered to ‘Army Discipline’ and gone for the tired old ‘securocrat’ nonsense – and at the same time playing into the rhetoric used by so-called ‘dissidents’ to justify their murdurous attacks on the police.

    No doubt Sinn Fein will play their usual mix of entitlement/victimhood on this and milk it to the very last drop.

    The timing of how this has played out so far has been interesting. Gerry writes to the cops 7 weeks before the election. He ‘presents’ himself for a “discussion” with the police (no demeaning himself with a police interview like other mere mortals for Dear Leader) at 8pm.

    The police would then by virtue of detention regulations be required to book him in and have him medically examined. He would then be afforded a consultation with his legal representative.

    After that initial process, and given Human Rights considerations, and those detention regulations, there would only be time for a short interview; suspects aren’t interviewed through the night as this is seen to be inappropriate to their welfare.

    So having arrived late in the evening, and, ahem, having some experience of police procedures, Gerry must have been aware that he would most probably be held overnight.

    Perhaps he was banking on exiting Antrim police station looking tired and a little frayed around the edges to be bathed in TV spotlights to give one of his tiresome homilies on his latest sacrifice for the ‘peace process’; footage of which could then be quickly edited into a Shinner election broadcast.

  • Am I, in this matter, a conspiracist or a cock-up theorist?

    There seems to be a sense of “Oh, ah! Err …” in the London politicos. Try catching the two very brief pieces on The Spectator blogs (by Douglas Murray and David Blackburn
    David Blackburn). Both read as deep-dyed Tories: Murray is a neo-Con, while Blackburn tends to the arty-farty end.

    The Spectator is normal “well-connected” in right-wing Westminster. Today is Thursday, so the Speccie reliables are sleeping off press day. Yet … somehow I would have expected a stronger steer.

    Christopher Bell at the Torygraph [sorry, I run out of my ration of hot-links] gives a potted history to date and is currently reporting strong denials of any Downing Street involvement — see also my initial post above. One paragraph of Bell’s defeats me — or it is a very sinuous non-denial:

    The spokesman denied to say when Number 10 was informed of the arrest or impending arrest. He said: “Details of the police investigation and how the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) is going about that – that is a matter of them.”

    That leaves me somewhat befuddled.

    Is the GB end in the dark (the cock-up theory)? Or merely dissimulating (the conspiracy theory — if so, must we assume, as Shibboleth does, above, fall-out from the Downey business)? Either way, why was Niall Collins so quick to stick his oar in?

    Had the NI MPs not retired for the weekend, would we have had an “urgent question”?


  • Mick Fealty


    I think you put your finger very precisely on SF’s political problem here. The Policing Board either works, or it doesn’t.

    If they are to be believed today, then what have they been taking the money for to sit on a body that has substantial powers of oversight on the PSNI.

    And why have they not been using them?

    Newton Emerson rightly called the DUP on its serial use of the term corruption under parliamentary privilege when he argued that if it was true, they should be taking it to the PSNI rather than through an Assembly debate or committee.

    The devolution of the policing and justice was supposed to fix all this nonsense. If it didn’t then we have a problem, and not simply a structural one. Is this yet another case of sawing off the very branch you are sitting on?

  • Reader

    redstar2011: You seem to miss the point that only 24 hours before this the British told us that the slaughter of those in the Ballymurphy massacre didn’t even merit investigation let alone arrests.
    I think you are a bit confused. You are mixing up an investigation (a matter for the police and HET) and a review (a matter for the home secretary).
    Only a review has been ruled out. You can have an investigation and arrests without an inquiry. The McConville case demonstrates that!

  • redstar2011

    Newton Emersons one of those commentators who I always want to get things wrong- but unfortunately he’s usually bang on the money wether I like it or not !!!!

    I am very much looking forward to hearing HRHs nbf MMGs take on all of this including if his party reckons their leader has been subject to political policing- why should his community support the Psni

  • redstar2011

    Reader-40 years of not one British soldier ending up on a life sentence amply demonstrates you’re wrong!!!!

  • zep

    “why should his community support the Psni” – Is that how things work for you? Somebody has been arrested, I am not happy – ergo I cannot support law and order. Madness. Shades of grey, shades of grey!

  • redstar2011


    Either a police force is credible or not

    Or are you saying regardless of how they operate they must be supported simply because they are the police?

    SF cannot have it both ways. If they are saying the Psni operate on a political agenda how can they expect the community to support them?

  • zep

    I’m saying that it’s a big leap from Gerry Adams presenting himself for interview in relation to an open murder investigation, to declaring the police service politically driven and unworthy of support.

    I agree with you on your last sentence.

  • redstar2011

    Zep we do actually appear to be agreeing- a bit

    Its SF who have made the claim, I am all ears now to hear them tell us mortals why we should support the Psni hereafter

    My own view is as well as the tragedy for the victim and her family this case highlights the complete irony of SF supporting Psni/ establishment which in turn operates in a quasi political manner to keep SF onboard BUT then bites SF in the bum by subjecting them to a taste of what others have complained of!!!!!

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    Maybe I did miss yer point.

    Does your earlier statement have a go at the dual horse riding of SF?

    As in;

    One day: “We support the PSNI!”

    Next day: “The PSNI are politically motivated!”

    If that’s what you mean, well then yes, you have a point.

  • zep

    “Zep we do actually appear to be agreeing- a bit” Steady on redstar steady on!

  • Politico68

    All this fuss and he will be released without charge in a few hours. The police seen to have been doing their job and GA a free and innocent man.

  • FF don’t get to comment with any authority until they put themselves forward for election.