Now it’s the PSNI in the dock. Chaos over the past deepens as political deadlock over Haas agenda continues

At last the clash has come between accountability and transparency and “national security” over dealing with the past. After the unhappy period of Al Hutchinson we have a Police Ombudsman in the assertive tradition of Nuala O’Loan. Michael Maguire who was also Hutchinson’s successor as Police Oversight Commissioner probably knows where quite few bodies are buried (figuratively of course) and is an altogether steelier figure.

NI’s chief constable is being taken to court over claims he obstructed Police Ombudsman investigations into allegations against the police in 60 murders…Mr Maguire said he had no option because he had received more than 100 refusals for information.

The Detail believes that the list includes the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, where loyalist gunmen killed six people as they watched the World Cup in a Co Down bar

Are  the political parties bothered by Michael Maguire’s action? Not judging from their response to the consultation over the operation of OPNI after the row about  its independence. Only 2 responses came from politicians.

Last month the PSNI put Gerry Adams in the frame.  Now they themselves are facing legal challenge from  Michael Maguire.  Yesterday it was reported that the party leaders had failed to make progress on the Haass agenda. Does anybody see the connection between the three stories?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London