Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (57, 58)

Micheál Martin

Question:

57. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the recent comments by the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland regarding possible party political activities within the PSNI; if he and his Department are concerned about same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22603/14]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

58. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has spoken to Secretary of State Villiers regarding the allegations made by the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland regarding possible activity within the PSNI; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22604/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 58 together.

Since the replacement of the Royal Ulster Constabulary by the PSNI in 2001 as recommended by the Patten report in 1999, Northern Ireland has benefitted from a new beginning for policing and for public confidence in policing. As part of the transformation in policing accountability mechanisms are in place to hold the PSNI to account, including the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Policing Board. The Policing Board is an independent public body made up of Political and Independent Members tasked with ensuring an effective, efficient, impartial, representative and accountable police service which commands the confidence of the whole community. Criticisms and concerns about policing policy and operations are normally pursued through these bodies.

I note the comments made by the Deputy First Minister in relation to the PSNI on 1 May. I also note that on the evening of 3 May, the President of Sinn Féin, Mr Gerry Adams TD re-iterated his support for the PSNI, which I welcome. This statement of clarified earlier remarks and was in line with Sinn Féin's consistent support for policing since they joined the Northern Ireland Policing Board in 2007.

Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 49.
Question No. 60 answered with Question No. 54.