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Declan Kearney Ard Fheis speech on policing

19 February, 2006


Chairperson of the Six County Cuige Declan Kearney speaking during the policing debate at the party's Ard Fheis said " Policing in the 6 counties is a centre of unionist political power. Power which has made policing a tool of abuse and an anti-democratic institution.Our strategic and tactical focus needs to be challenging that power base, imposing democratic controls and forcing accountability on the operation of policing."

Mr. Kearney said:

Speaking in favour of 394, 395 and 407 and against 396-401, 406 and 409

Comrades, it’s a universal reality that policing is a key political power issue.

Much of the republican and nationalist experience has been negatively conditioned by its role, especially in the six counties. But while is’ an emotive subject, we cannot allow sentiment to determine our judgements.

The sentiments of the motions which I call on the Ard Fheis to oppose are understandable, but misplaced. If emotion and sentiment had a role in fundamentally changing policing, republicans would have had this sorted out long ago.

But it is not.

Policing in the Six counties is a centre of unionist political power. Power which has made policing a tool of abuse and an anti-democratic institution.

Our strategic and tactical focus needs to be challenging that power base, imposing democratic controls and forcing accountability on the operation of policing.

And whilst the political evolution and reality of policing in the 26 counties is different, the questions of democratic control and accountability equally apply.

Policing in the north today continues to be governed by a political, military doctrine.

Those who dominate the command and control structures of the PSNI, in collusion  with British intelligence, are now operating a counter-insurgency strategy to copper-fasten direct rule.

 

They orchestrated the assassination of republicans and nationalists in the 1980s and 1990s and today they are hell-bent on assassinating the peace process. They are anti-peace process, anti-republican and anti-United Ireland.

Whether intended or not, these motions send a message to the Political Detectives and securocrats that, if passed, Sinn Fein is long-fingering policing, and is less than  focussed on confronting and usurping the political policy power base.

Comrades, we need to go toe to toe with the Political Detectives; break their counter-insurgency strategy; take away their power; and impose systems of democratic political control. They and their co-opted policing establishment will watch today’s debate for trends – and especially indications that this subject, this site of struggle, is too big for us to handle. That is what they want.

Sinn Fein poses the greatest threat to the power centre of policing in the 6 counties. This is why the vested interests of Special Branch, MI5, DUP and SDLP all oppose the Sinn Fein strategy for transfer of powers, and strategic project to transform policing on the island. 

So, let’s not send mixed signals from this debate. Our party position is good and clear and we may have a special Ard Fheis when the time is right.

And we are preparing to roll out the formal internal discussion on the future character and quality of policing we want in Ireland. In the meantime, let’s send a message to the Political Detectives and securocrats in Palace Barracks, Castle Buildings, Knock and Castlereagh. You now stand exposed.

We are going to tell the world who you are and what you’ve done.

The days of PSNI cosmetics and NIO spin are over.

Political policing does exist: you kill, you frame and you tear down governments.

But we’re going to decommission and disband you.

We are going to confront and challenge every level of the securocrat organisational chart. All of you from : Special Branch; Crime Department; 14th Intelligence; Royal Irish Intelligence; MI5 and MI6.

The role of your Tasking and Co-ordinating Group (TCG); NIO Security and Political Directorates; and the governing responsibility of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Comrades, let the next meeting of the  TCG contemplate the implications for their future in the knowledge from this Ard Fheis, that we are unified; we’ve got their strategy sussed and that we are coming after them.

 Decide today that we will put them to the pin of their collars. That through intensified campaigning, propaganda, and negotiations, we will stop this acid in the heart of the peace process.

In the coming weeks, we will roll out a sustained political, propaganda and publicity campaign. Our energies should concentrate upon this, and our overall strategy – not on absolutist  motions, which will miss the strategic priorities and targets.Reject those motions.

Support motions 394, 395 and 407

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