Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Northern Ireland Issues

Photo of Joe HigginsJoe Higgins (Dublin West, Socialist Party)
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To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will follow up the case of a person (details supplied) with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in view of the reported cases of repeated police harassment they have been subjected to and their current incarceration on contested grounds. [57523/12]

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The question refers to a matter that is before the courts concerning the possible illegal activities of a private individual. Respecting the integrity and strength of the judicial process in Northern Ireland, I do not consider it appropriate to make any public statements that would undermine that process. However, while no institution is above criticism, it is important to recall that the completion of the devolution of policing and justice marked an important milestone in fulfilling the vision of the Good Friday Agreement and in the transformation of policing structures in Northern Ireland. All those involved in changing attitudes around policing can be very proud of the service they have built and the changed culture of policing.

More than a decade on from the Patten Report, authority and responsibility for policing and justice issues are now where they ought to be – at the local level, accountable to, and operating for the benefit of all in the community. In the spirit of Patten, the PSNI is a police service, not a police force , part of the framework of society in the north.


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