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Sinn Fein has announced it is calling a special meeting of its executive to discuss the issue of republican backing for policing in Northern Ireland.
Party leader Gerry Adams said the party's executive council would meet in Dublin on Friday.
He said he would put forward a motion asking for a special party-wide conference "on the policing issue".
Sinn Fein support for policing would be viewed as removing one of the main obstacles to restoring devolution.
Mr Adams said that if his motion was successful, the ard fheis (party conference) would be held in January.
Irish President Mary McAleese has revealed that she has relations who have recently joined the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Mrs McAleese told RTE that "members of her clan" played for the police Gaelic football team.
She said her relatives, believed to be cousins, had played for the PSNI against the Garda Siochana GAA team.
Mrs McAleese added that she would like to see relations improve between the north and south.
"We have seen members of the PSNI Gaelic football team, on which I have members of my own family, members of my own clan are members of that team, coming down and playing with members of the Garda Siochana," she said.
- This follows recent revelations that the Irish President Mary McAleese has relatives that have joined the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).
Originally posted by infinite
certain members of the PIRA are against this and have issued threats to starting working with the CIRA and RIRA is Sinn Fein does start supporting the police.
i don't think that was a good idea by going public with that sort of information.
The British and Irish governments have welcomed news that Sinn Fein will hold a special conference next month to discuss signing up to policing....
......Sinn Fein support for policing would be viewed as removing one of the main obstacles to restoring devolution.
More than two-thirds of the executive voted in favour of the meeting.....
The party has historically opposed recognising the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and its predecessor the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), because of what it sees as a Protestant bias within the service.
......Sinn Fein said the motion put forward would include a commitment to "actively encourage 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 institutions".
The decision by Sinn Fein to hold a conference to decide whether to support policing has been welcomed by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern.
Around 2,000 party members will attend the event in Dublin on 28 January.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams recommended the date at a meeting of senior members in Dublin on Saturday.
The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson also welcomed the move but said his party would need to see support by Sinn Fein translated into action on the ground.
Mr Blair and Mr Ahern have identified Sinn Fein support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland as being crucial to persuading the DUP to share power in a devolved government with Sinn Fein by 26 March.
Originally posted by Nygdan
What in the world is this all about? The IRA is going to 'recognize' the police in northern ireland?
I am confoosed.
Is the situation such that previously, in NI, police work was done by local IRA gangs and the like, and the legitimate police couldn't get anywhere in certain areas/???
In a society where there is a split in religious affiliations--there is some argument about the figures, but it is about 55 per cent. Protestant and 45 per cent. Roman Catholic--some 93 per cent. of RUC members come from the majority tradition.
21 per cent of its officers are Catholic.
Sinn Fein votes to support police
Sinn Fein members have voted to support policing in Northern Ireland for the first time in the party's history.
About 900 party members voted on the motion at a special party conference (ard fheis) in Dublin which was attended by more than 2,000 people.
Sinn Fein support for policing and DUP commitment to power-sharing are seen as essential to restoring NI devolution.
A six hour debate was cut short as the leadership forced a vote which was carried with 90% support.
The decision gives Sinn Fein's ruling executive the authority to declare its support for the PSNI and the criminal justice system when devolution is restored and policing and justice powers are transferred to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Speaking after the vote, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the decision was truly historic.
"Today you have created the potential to change the political landscape on this island forever," he said.
"You have created the opportunity to significantly advance our struggle and you have seized the opportunity to further our primary objective of united Ireland through the building of greater political strength."
Mr Adams also said that republicanism and unionism had reached an historic compromise.
"If the promise and hope of the peace process is to deliver peace and prosperity, that means beginning a real dialogue, an anti-sectarian dialogue, a dialogue which will move us to a real future," he added.