The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Fr. Mc Manus on His Visit to Garnerville PSNI Training Center

Fr Sean Mc Manus • 7 September 2006

On Thursday, August 17, 2006 I spent three and a half hours visiting the Garnerville PSNI Training Center.

My visit was urged, and arranged, by the Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, Dr. Mitchell Reiss.

Dr. Reiss made the argument to me that, since I have been a long time critic of Northern Ireland policing, I ought to hear in person the PSNI point of view.

Because of the intrinsic merit of his argument, and because of my respect for Dr. Reiss and his Office, I consented to the visit.

I met with Deputy Chief Constable, Paul Leighton and three of his male colleagues. Deputy Leighton immediately apologized on behalf of Chief Constable Hugh Orde who could not be present as he was on vacation.

I raised all the tough questions. And they answered in an upfront and business-like manner. I was impressed by their openness, professionalism and their evident concern to convey their commitment to a "new beginning'' to policing in Northern Ireland. They struck me as fine, decent men. I found myself, I must confess, wanting to believe that they accurately and authentically reflect the new approach to policing — both institutionally and individually.

I was also given the opportunity to speak privately (without supervision or recording, I was assured) to about nine recruits, men and women. I was impressed by their caliber and enthusiasm.

We all know that an acceptable police service — "effective and efficient, fair and impartial, free from partisan political control'' as envisioned by the Good Friday Agreement — is absolutely essential if the peace-process is to succeed. It is my hope that the PSNI can prove to the Catholic community that it can be trusted, that the bad old days are truly over, that sectarianism and collusion are gone, root and branch. That means that the British Government must first come clean on collusion, something that has now been made harder by the key role given to MI5 in Northern Ireland and by the gutting of the Public Inquiry legislation.











































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Index: Current Articles

10 September 2006

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Republican Sinn Fein Press Release

Renaissance Republicanism
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Goulding, the Provisionals and the Current Political Process
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Puppet Show
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Fr. Mc Manus on His Visit to Garnerville PSNI Training Center
Fr Sean Mc Manus

Irlande du Nord: Interview With Anthony McIntyre
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Sectarian Interfaces: Glenn Patterson's That Which Was
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Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 10
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A Curious Snub
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Sir Reg's Party Games
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Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 7
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Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 8
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Trotsky and the Ghetto of the Sects
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Global Conscience Not US Capital: The Case for Liberal Intervention
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