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Sinn Fein and Policing, the day some thought they'd never live to see just got closer

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posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 05:57 PM
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It might have been too late for a Christmas present this year but it looks like we're moving towards a much happier new year in 2007.

Gerry Adams (the Sinn Fein party leader) announced that SF is to hold the much anticipated 'ard comhairle' (a meeting of the Sinn Fein party executive) which in turn is expected to agree to the calling of a special 'ard fheis' (party conference).

Happy days for us all here in Northern Ireland.......or the north of Ireland, the six counties, the statelet......or however you prefer to call this wee place!


It's my view that there's no way they'd be calling for these meetings if they didn't think they will get agreement (in both meetings).


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.

news.bbc.co.uk...

- This follows recent revelations that the Irish President Mary McAleese has relatives that have joined the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).


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.

news.bbc.co.uk...

- All we want is normality and it looks like we are finally on the road to getting some.

I'm one of those who at one point thought this could never happen, from the horrors of the 1970's in NI I honestly never thought we'd see any sort of peace here.

I can well recall the dark days of Bloody Sunday and soon after Bloody Friday to name two particularly horrific events (in a vile catalogue of barbarism that went on for around 30yrs - in this 'round' of 'the troubles'),
I well know each 'side' has plumbed the absolute depths at times and has hurt and been hurt so badly.
I am well aware that certain participants in this process - on all sides - are not the sort of people I personally could feel particularly 'comfortable' with.

But we are where we are and the people have elected those whom they have elected.

.....and it really does look like they're moving forward and making startling progress, at long last and thank God.

Happy happy days!
This is the sort of stuff that proves there is hope to be found in even what appear to be the most hopeless of situations.
Wonderful news.

It's looking as if those days ahead might just be that bit more 'normal' around here after all.

Here's to a very happy new year in 2007 for us all.





posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 04:55 AM
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Probably is, is that 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.



- This follows recent revelations that the Irish President Mary McAleese has relatives that have joined the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).


i don't think that was a good idea by going public with that sort of information.



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 07:32 AM
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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.


- Well it's hardly the first time a split has occurred in the republican movement.
'Republican Sinn Fein' has been preaching against the Adams/McGuinness leadership for decades......and so what of it?

The truth is that the dissidents are few in number and have even less influence.

Sinn Fein is - by far - the dominant political force in republican areas - even the so-called 'armed wing' of the INLA ended up fading away (and they were far larger and better organised and armed than any current dissident group).

If SF fully engage with the Police I fully expect dissident groups to be choked out of existence.


i don't think that was a good idea by going public with that sort of information.


- Well sooner or later public figures have to stand up and be seen to stand up for some substance and not just saying the words/ideals.

Credit to her IMO, it is absolutely no small thing she has done and it is exactly this kind of thing that we need to rob the bigot-element of their credibility and diffuse some of the jibes.



posted on Dec, 30 2006 @ 11:18 AM
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Latest developments -


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".

news.bbc.co.uk...

So, there we are, history in the making as we watch it unfold.

The 'ard comhairle' (Sinn Fein party executive meeting), as expected, has agreed to put forward and recommend a motion in support of the Police and devolved judicial institutions of law to a special general party conference.

Happy days indeed. Fantastic.



posted on Dec, 30 2006 @ 04:03 PM
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Fantastic day to be an Ulster boy


My family left Northern Ireland, before i was born because of the violence. I was an Irishmen born in England due to problems back home. Hopefully, no family will have to leave Northern Ireland now



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 10:25 AM
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We got dates and everything going on now!


Obviously each side has problems with their most ideologically driven (the DUP has some prominent members now making noises about raising the bar over SF's bone fides and some republicans are also complaining that SF is 'going too far') but it looks like the vast bulk of those parties (not forgetting the vast bulk of the people of the 6 counties) want this to happen.

A little bit more of 21st century 1st world European 'normality' beckons.

Wonderful.



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.

news.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 07:41 AM
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I think this a very laudable move by Sein Fein, but it's unwelcome to some people. There are those out there (loyalist and nationalist) who don't want to see 'normal' policing because then they'd have to give up their little empires. Anyone from an estate in N.Ireland knows that 'the boys' (orange and green) practically run the places, but a return to normality would let the PSNI concentrate more on fighting criminal activity.

Of course I'm thinking of the DUP here as well because they'd have to talk to Gerry Adams, and with their 'demon' gone they won't know what to do with themselves!! Bigotry has it's drawbacks!

I hope Sein Fein do join the policing boards, then we can see if they are really serious about getting the place back to normal.

Adams seems like a reasonable enough guy though, so I hope he gets the chance to prove it.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 02:32 PM
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I think more than a few saw Adams walk into the so-called 'Loyalist heartland' for David Ervine's funeral, comfort the widow and generally behave in a dignified and 'out-reaching' manner in a way so few have even tried to do.
With that I am sure he pursuaded many still undecided that he was serious about this new begining and a real and genuine break from the past.

Gerry Adams in Loyalist east Belfast for Ervines funeral

I personally was shocked that he did that and I can only applaud that brave effort.

Pity he is almost alone in making such visible efforts.

Paisley at 'a republican equivelent' to Ervine's funeral?
I don't think so somehow.

Gerry Adams comforts David Ervine's widow


[edit on 24-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 04:23 PM
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Thanks for posting those links Sminkey - I had missed this follow up to a fascinating news story.

Brave effort indeed - actions speak louder than words, even Ian Paisley's words.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 02:37 PM
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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/???



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
What in the world is this all about? The IRA is going to 'recognize' the police in northern ireland?


- Not just 'recognise' but actively be a part of the Policing and Judicial system here in NI.


I am confoosed.


- Don't worry Nygadn, you'll be in good company if you find Ireland's history & complexities confusing.


A brief history of Ireland in the 20th century


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/???


- Well the problem is that republican never could bring themselves to recognise the 6 county state we call 'Northern Ireland'.

They saw British jurisdiction as illegitimate and to be resisted on every level possible.

That meant rejecting the forces of law and order (Police, Army & 'Security Services' = MI5/6 etc) as forces of occupation to be either ignored, avoided, fought and/or opposed at every turn.

In very crude terms the unionists/protestants/loyalists supported the state and saw nationalists and republicans as threatening the existence of the state; therefore they were attracted to the NI police and it was heavily made up of an overwhelmingly unionist/protestant/loyalist membership.
They gained a reputation for turning a blind eye to unionist/protestant/loyalist attacks on nationalists and republicans (and indeed for actually doing some of the attacking themselves).

We also now know beyond doubt that elements within the RUC colluded with so-called 'Loyalist' terrorist gangs in the murder of nationalists and republicans.
RUC collusion

This simply provided further reason and reinforced why even moderates and those not particularly political on the nationalist/republican side rejected cooperating with the Police.

This also led to 'armed republicanism' using threats and intimidation, assault and even the murder of fellow nationalists/Roman Catholics connected to, involved with or members of those Police and security forces so as to 'encourage' others in the nationalist/republican 'community' to steer well clear of having anything to do with what they saw as 'collaboration' with 'the forces of occupation'.

It was indeed a bitter and a very 'dirty war' (on all sides) at times.

From the republican POV the unionist majority in NI was a gerrymander of the most base and obvious kind; they saw the 6 counties as rejecting the 1922 all-Ireland vote for self-determination and exercising their own 'loaded' vote to be separate - and all that entailed with the 1924 boundary commission establishing and drawing a fairly arbitrary, and in places illogical & nonsensical, border between north and south etc etc.

It also doesn't help that for many republicans the unionist people were seen as outsiders swamping and crowding out the say of the 'true Irish' in the 6 counties.

However, thanks to the The Good Friday/Belfast Agreement the principle of consent has been agreed all around and 'we' are now in the process of all of our local politicians devising genuinely 'local' services and institutions with both 'North/South' institutions and also 'East/West' institutions between the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The old RUC has gone and with it a Police force of such a sectarian divide.
In it's place is the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).
From a situation where 7% were Roman Catholic (or 'other')

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.

www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com...
we are now at a position where

21 per cent of its officers are Catholic.

www.timesonline.co.uk....
.....and even these moderate changes have been resisted and criticised by some unionists.
Unionists were forced into accepting these changes (formulated by moderate tory Chris Patton in his Patton report on Policing in NI.

These 'new politics' regarding NI are not just getting politics here on a sane and 'normal' footing but they are also transforming the British/Irish relationship (and not before time either).

The British Gov's desire to see a genuine devolution of power, real 'north south cooperation' (including inter-governmental institutions) and the new relationships between UK and RoI have created space for change in NI.

Northern Ireland is patently not "as British as Finchley" as Thatcher once said; it is instead a shared place with a unique identity neither quite British (in much of a recognisable sense to the rest of the British) nor quite Irish (as the rest of Ireland is).
Northerners are a mix of their own.
This uniqueness is reflected in our new institutions where sharing power is mandatory.
Never again will unionists shut out republicans or nationalists from power and the decision making processes with a sectarian 'Protestant state for a Protestant people'.

Because of this SF and the republican movement (with one or two small rejectionist splinter groups refusing to go along - as is customary) feel able to be a part of those shared services and institutions (including the Police and Judiciary).

A 'United Ireland' might not quite be on the agenda right now (some talk about a border poll in 2016 the 100th anniversary of the 'Easter rising'......or maybe 2024 the 100th anniversary of the border being formally drawn) but whatever the future holds in the mean time (thankfully) nationalists and republicans will make the choices power brings and help run the place and be a part of the 'body politic'.

As for Policing beforehand?

Yes, the IRA did meet out a form of 'community justice' - there was no effective Policing so the community expected them to do something - and the same is true of their counterparts on the so-called 'Loyalist' side
(cos they too had housing estates that they 'controlled' and which had become almost 'no-go' areas to the Police or British Army).

That meant beatings (with things like iron bars, baseball bats with nails through them and clubs being used.....with no stopping until the men doing the beating were sure they were leaving the victim with several bones were broken)
or punishment shootings (usually through the knee - the classic 'kneecapping' all the way on to what they called the crucifixion, where the victim would be shot through knees, ankle & elbows).

Worst of all were the 'nuttings' where a victim could ensure his family being left alone if he (it was almost always a he) turned up to shot in the back of the head and murdered in some Godawful deserted place.

We have come a long long way, thankfully.

Hopefully we will get there eventually and enjoy the 'benefits' of any normal western democracy in western Europe.

One of the unseen horrors of 'the troubles' is just how isolated and left behind NI had become.
I hope those days are long over.

Here's hoping this little potted history is both accurate and useful.

I certainly don't claim to know it all and from every POV here;
I'm still learning and still trying to understand as much of it as I can.



[edit on 28-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 01:40 PM
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Joy joy, happy happy!



Sinn Fein votes to support police



Gerry Adams
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.

news.bbc.co.uk...

- Happy days indeed.

[edit on 28-1-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 04:03 PM
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Excellent news! fantastic!

for those who dont me too well, I had a family member in the RUC who shot and killed by the IRA (we found out by his picture appearing on the news). Very tragic day for our family and of course we will always be suspicous of the republican movement, but today is a huge step forward.

Historic is the word.

[edit on 28-1-2007 by infinite]



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 04:27 PM
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This is great news - I hope the next few years yield further big steps down the road towards permanent peace in Northern Ireland.



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 05:40 PM
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The only problem is the DUP leadership and what worries me is that they will change like Sinn Fein. Paisley will never change. Sadly, things will only move forward when he has left the spotlight and his right wing buddies as well.



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 09:52 PM
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Interesting to see that this is an effective process. I'd've thought that it'd be a matter of the IRA giving up their arms completely or not at all, not this bizzare situation where they're not attacking, but still not permited people to join the police, or work with regular local police, etc, until now that they've had a meeting to agree to do so. I'd've thought that such an idea would be implicit in giving up killing civilians, but apparently its not anywhere as simple as that. Looks like it is progress either way!



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:26 AM
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Sminkey posted:

"That meant beatings (with things like iron bars, baseball bats with nails through them and clubs being used.....with no stopping until the men doing the beating were sure they were leaving the victim with several bones were broken)
or punishment shootings (usually through the knee - the classic 'kneecapping' all the way on to what they called the crucifixion, where the victim would be shot through knees, ankle & elbows)."

The greater majority of these cases, if not all, and on both sides, were done without evidence as well. I know of at least one case where a rumour spread about someone being a child-molester and they got beaten up. The rumour wasn't true of course, but 'the boys' didn't think to check it out before they dispensed 'justice'.

Hopefully there'll be no more of that now.



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