News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

January 14, 2007

RUC: Leave Us Alone

News About Ireland & The Irish

SL 01/14/07 RUC: Leave Us Alone
SF 01/14/07 Motion For Extraordinary Ard Fheis
RT 01/14/07 SF Publishes Details Of Ard Fheis Motion


RUC: Leave Us Alone

[Published: Sunday 14, January 2007 - 09:17]
By Alan Murray

O'Laon's office denies harassing retired cops

Retired police officers are calling for a Government
inquiry into the conduct of the Police Ombudsman Nuala
O'Loan's office.

Former cops claim they are being "harassed" by
investigators from the Ombudsman's office - a claim totally
denied by Mrs O'Loan's office.

The Retired Police Officer's Association has now written to
the Cabinet Office in London with their demands after
receiving what they regard as the brush off from Secretary
of State Peter Hain.

In the letter to Whitehall, the association argues the
Government must conduct an "effective" probe into its
concerns to comply with the European Convention on Human
Rights after Peter Hain failed to act on their complaints.

The RPOA's chairman David Turkington wrote to Mr Hain in
September accusing the Police Ombudsman of harassing former
RUC officers "at every opportunity by letter and in
person", and claiming that many former police officers were
being treated for stress related disorders as a result.

Mr Turkington claimed that in the absence of any
substantive criminal offence being uncovered by the
Ombudsman's investigators, her office was using the charge
of malfeasance in public office "as a cover for

He said he feared that many of his members are being
compelled by the Ombudsman's actions to consider breaching
the Official Secrets Act "if only to counter the relentless
tide of leaks and media speculation which surround the
discharge by the Police Ombudsman of her function".

But the RPOA was angered by an undated response from the
Northern Ireland Secretary's office in October which even
presented his name as "Peter Main".

The RPOA claim the letter sent from Peter Hain's office
indicates that its complaint wasn't given "any serious
consideration or personal attention" .

It has now written to the Propriety and Ethics Team at the
Cabinet Office in Whitehall to ask it to launch an enquiry
into the Ombudsman's actions.

The RPOA argues that under Article 13 of the European
Convention on Human Rights, there must be an "effective
remedy" available to those who complain about senior public
servants and their administrations. It claims Mr Hain's
office has failed to provide effective accountability for
Mrs O'Loan's role, which it argues has been expanded beyond
the original remit intended and defies Cabinet Office
guidelines for such schemes.

In a statement a spokesman for the Police Ombudsman said:
"We have repeatedly asked the retired officers group to
come and talk to us, but so far they have not responded. We
do not harass anyone. In a recent survey 95 pc of police
officers we investigated thought our staff polite but

"We take great care to exercise similar high standards with
retired officers and try to allay any concerns they have.

"The Police Ombudsman must and does act within the law. We
do not generally court the media. Sometimes, like now,
other people focus the spotlight on us."

© Belfast Telegraph


Motion For Extraordinary Ard Fheis

Published: 13 January, 2007

This Ard Fheis reiterates Sinn Féin's political commitment
to bringing about Irish re-unification and the full
integration of political, economic, social and cultural
life on the island.

This Ard Fheis supports civic policing through a police
service which is representative of the community it serves,
free from partisan political control and democratically

We support fair, impartial and effective delivery of the
rule of law.

The changes to policing secured in legislation need to be
implemented fully. The truth about wrongdoing by British
military, intelligence and policing agencies needs to be
uncovered and acknowledged. Sinn Féin supports the demands
for this from the families of victims. The PSNI needs to
make strenuous efforts to earn the trust and confidence of
nationalists and republicans. Gardaí corruption and
malpractice - which has been exposed in the Morris Tribunal
and the Abbeylara inquiry in the 26 counties - shows the
need for constant vigilance and oversight. These inquiries
and the ill-treatment of republicans by the Garda Special
Branch also provide compelling reasons as to why the
responsibility of political parties and representatives
should be to hold the police to account in a fair and
publicly transparent way.

This Ard Fheis is totally opposed to political, sectarian
and repressive policing. The experience of nationalists and
republicans in the Six Counties is of a partisan, unionist
militia which engaged in harassment, torture,
assassination, shoot-to-kill and collusion with death

The Good Friday Agreement requires and defines 'a new
beginning to policing' as an essential element of the peace
process. The Good Friday Agreement also requires
functioning, powersharing and all-Ireland political

The British Government have agreed to the transfer of
powers on policing and justice away from Westminster to
locally-elected political institutions and have set out the
departmental model to which these powers will be
transferred. In these circumstances authority over policing
and justice will lie in Ireland.

We note the British Government's new policy statement of 10
January 2007 which removes MI5 from policing structures in
Ireland. This removes the proposals to embed MI5 into civic
policing and removes the danger of again creating a force
within a force.

We note also the commitment by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh
Orde that plastic bullets will not be used for purposes of
public order/crowd control and his acknowledgement of the
hurt resulting from injuries and death of innocent people
including children.

These weapons should never be used again. Sinn Féin will
continue to campaign for a total ban.

This Ard Fheis notes the refusal of the DUP leader Ian
Paisley to publicly commit to power-sharing and
participation in the all-Ireland political institutions by
26 March 2007.

Before the Ard Chomhairle meeting on 29 December the DUP
had agreed words which they would release in response to
the Ard Chomhairle accepting the policing motion put by the
Party President. We note the DUP's failure to keep to this

It is clear that elements of the DUP are determined to use
policing and other issues to prevent progress, resist
powersharing and equality and oppose any all-Ireland
development. This is unacceptable.

It is the responsibility of the two Governments and pro-
Agreement parties across the island to resist this and to
ensure the full implementation of the Good Friday

Sinn Fein is committed to justice. Sinn Fein is committed
to law and order and to stable and inclusive partnership
government, and, in good faith and in a spirit of genuine
partnership, to the full operation of stable power-sharing
government and the north south and east west arrangements
set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

The responsibility of the police is to defend and uphold
the rights of citizens. In order to fulfil this role they
require critical support.

Sinn Féin reiterates our support for An Garda Síochána and
commits fully to:

Support for the PSNI and the criminal justice system.

Hold the police and criminal justice systems north and
south fully to account, both democratically and legally, on
the basis of fairness and impartiality and objectivity.

Authorise our elected representatives to participate in
local policing structures in the interests of justice, the
quality of life for the community and to secure policing
with the community as the core function of the PSNI and
actively encouraging everyone in the community to co-
operate fully with the police services in tackling crime in
all areas and actively supporting all the criminal justice

The devolution of policing and justice to the Assembly.

Equality and human rights at the heart of the new
dispensation and to pursue a shared future in which the
culture, rights and aspirations of all are respected and
valued, free from sectarianism, racism and intolerance

To achieve this the Ard Chomhairle is hereby mandated to:

Appoint Sinn Féin representatives to the Policing Board and
the District Policing Partnership Boards to ensure that:

- a civic policing service, accountable and representative
of the community is delivered as quickly as possible,

- the Chief Constable and the PSNI are publicly held to

- policing with the community is achieved as the core
function of the PSNI,

- political policing, collusion and "the force within a
force" is a thing of the past and to oppose any involvement
by the British Security Service/MI5 in civic policing.

Ensure Sinn Fein representatives robustly support the
demands for:

- equality of treatment for all victims and survivors,

- effective truth recovery mechanisms,

- acknowledgement by the British State of its involvement
in wrongdoing including collusion with loyalist

- to ensure that there is no place in the PSNI for those
guilty of human rights abuses,

Resolutely oppose the use of lethal weapons in public order

Authorise Sinn Féin Ministers to take the ministerial
Pledge of Office.

Achieve accountable all-Ireland policing structures.

The Ard Chomhairle recommends:

That this Ard Fheis endorses the Ard Chomhairle motion.
That the Ard Chomhairle is mandated to implement this
motion only when the power-sharing institutions are
established and when the Ard Chomhairle is satisfied that
the policing and justice powers will be transferred. Or if
this does not happen within the St Andrews timeframe, only
when acceptable new partnership arrangements to implement
the Good Friday Agreement are in place.


SF Publishes Details Of Ard Fheis Motion

14 January 2007 23:00

Sinn Féin has published details of the motion it will put
before delegates at a special Ard Fheis on policing in two
weeks time.

Some 2,000 members are expected to attend the conference in
Dublin on 28 January.

The motion will ask members to mandate the executive to
implement any policy changes.

It also proposes to authorise Sinn Féin ministers to take
the ministerial pledge of office which would require them
to give their backing to the PSNI.

Gerry Adams has said that the motion would be advocating
full co-operation with the PSNI from republicans throughout
Northern Ireland.

The Sinn Féin President was speaking on RTÉ Radio's This

The party began consulting its grassroots members today as
the party moves towards the special Ard Fheis.

Yesterday, Sinn Féin's 56-member Ard Comhairle voted in
favour of convening the conference in Dublin on 28 January.

The party is planning to hold a series of meetings as part
of a consultation process.

The DUP has said it would make a positive response to any
Sinn Féin endorsement of the PSNI, but has repeated its
demand that 'words from Republicans be translated into

Party MP Jeffrey Donaldson said it was essential for Sinn
Féin to give unequivocal support to the PSNI and the

He said the sooner this happened, the sooner all parties
could move forward.

The SDLP meanwhile has welcomed the decision by Sinn Féin
to hold the special Ard Fheis.

To Subscribe to Irish Aires Google News List, click Here.
To Unsub from Irish Aires Google News List, click Here
For options visit:

Or join our Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)

To January Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
To Searches & Sources of Other Irish News
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?