30/10/2009

Adams Slams DUP Leader On Policing

The DUP needs to "get their act in order" and obey the communal imperative on the devolution of policing and justice to Stormont.

The Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said yesterday that the DUP appear to be putting up a pre-condition that Orange Order parades and the issues around them have to be resolved before the powers on policing and justice can be transferred.

"This is totally and absolutely unacceptable," he fumed.

He said that what he called "Westminster grandstanding" is not a genuine or sincere or serious attempt to resolve the issue of parades.

Gerry Adams has also called on the Orange Order to engage in dialogue with local residents to resolve the small number of remaining contentious parades.

The move comes after First Minister Peter Robinson told MPs of the "political imperative" to resolve issues of parading in Northern Ireland before policing and justice powers were devolved.

Mr Robinson also called for the abolition of the Parades Commission, which is responsible for placing restrictions on parades that it deems contentious.

He branded it "not a solution to problems but part of the problem itself".

However, Mr Adam's position remains that the parades issue cannot be mixed up with the policing and justice debate.
News Image
"This is an issue which is distinctly separate and which will not be resolved as a precondition - it's totally and absolutely unacceptable," he said.

However, Mr Robinson has made it clear that while the Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, has been pressing for powers to be devolved for many weeks, the DUP leader has remained firm in the face of pressure and has secured a substantially better funding package from the UK Exchequer than would have been the case had agreement been reached earlier in the long-running process.

For that reason, it is unlikely that the DUP will be "railroaded" into any settlement until such times as the DUP can be assured that the policing and justice assurances they are seeking are agreed.

Just two weeks ago, Peter Robinson said his party would not be 'spooked by pressure' to agree a deal and insisted that the party still wants clarification on some aspects of the package.

However, he said much had been achieved by the application of political pressure: "The funding offer from the Prime Minister which we received goes beyond anything on offer previously," Mr Robinson said.

"By holding our nerve, we have a package today which is hundreds of millions of pounds higher than it was only a week ago."

See: Policing Devolution Deal On The Way?

(BMcC/KMcA)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 August 2019
Aer Lingus Issues Apology As Ashes Lost
Aer Lingus has issued an apology after the ashes belonging to the parents of a man originally from County Antrim went missing. Ballymena man Bob Gimour is reported to have travelled from Australia to Ireland with his family to scatter his parents' remains. When they arrived, however, the bag containing the ashes was not on the plane.
24 January 2011
Police 'Allowed Illegal Republican Parade'
Members of the leading loyal order are said to be frustrated over an illegal march in Co Armagh yesterday and news of 'zero' prosecutions or cautions for those participating in any such illegal parades. The Orange Order described this as a "major shift" in policy, which they said, is causing huge frustration among law-abiding Orangemen.
12 October 2004
DPP support reinforces police work: Murphy
The new policing arrangements in Northern Ireland have been reinforced by the creation of District Policing Partnerships and enhanced by the calibre of the men and women who serve on them, Secretary of State Paul Murphy has said.
13 May 2019
SDLP Challenge DUP To Debate Merits Of EU Membership
The SDLP's Leader and European candidate Colum Eastwood has challenged the DUP candidate Diane Dodds to engage in a debate on the benefits the European Union brings to Northern Ireland. It comes as voters prepare to go to the polls on Thursday 23 May to elect the MEPs that will lead the region through Brexit.
14 October 2011
Summer Of Post Parade Violence Cost £5.7m
Sectarian rioting is costing the economy dearly with news this morning that the cost of policing parades and associated public disorder during the period from April to the end of August was a huge £5.7m.