Sinn Féin objective a policing service which serves people not MI5
Sinn Féin Assembly member for South Down Caitriona Ruane today said that the differences between the SDLP and Sinn Féin approach to MI5 are crystal clear. Ms Ruane said that the issue was very simple. The SDLP accepted a role for MI5 in Ireland generally and within policing specifically while Sinn Féin rejected both.
Ms Ruane said:
"Despite the best efforts of the SDLP to create confusion on this issue the differences between ourselves and their position are crystal clear. The SDLP negotiated the MI5/PSNI integration proposal which was contained in the St. Andrews document. There were no accountability mechanisms contained in these proposals. Indeed the SDLP claimed this disastrous scheme as a victory. Sinn Féin stated that this was unacceptable and set about having it reversed.
"Subsequently Mark Durkan went even further along the securocrat route when he publicly stated that the SDLP accept a role for MI5 in Ireland. Sinn Féin hold entirely the opposite position. Just as we oppose British jurisdiction in Ireland we oppose any role for MI5 in Ireland.
"During the latest negotiation over the Christmas period we have succeeded in removing the malign influence of MI5 from civic policing structures. This is a significant advance and undoes much of the mess created by the SDLP and British securocrats at St. Andrews.
"This issue boils down to one simple fact. The SDLP accepted the integration of MI5 and the PSNI. Sinn Féin rejected this and has achieved the separation of MI5 from policing. Sinn Féin's objective is a policing service which serves the people not MI5." ENDS