Gerry Adams seeks community backing for Ard Chomhairle initiative on policing
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams today addressed the first in a series of town hall meetings on the issue of policing. Mr. Adams was accompanied to the meeting in Toome, County Antrim by MEP Bairbre de Brún and MLAs Gerry Kelly and Francie Molloy. Mr. Adams will speak in Galbally, County Tyrone later this evening.
Mr. Adams said:
“The decision facing Sinn Féin members next Sunday is a huge one but I firmly believe that the time is right to take this initiative. Sinn Féin members the length and breadth of Ireland have been meeting over the last week and this debate will continue right up to the Extraordinary Ard Fheis. We have also been meeting with veteran republicans, those who have suffered at the hands of the state and the families of our patriot dead.
“Today we have taken the debate out into the wider nationalist and republican community to seek support for the position that the party leadership is putting before the Ard Fheis. It is clear from the attendance at this meeting that nationalists and republicans want to be part of that debate and to have their voices heard.
“Many nationalists and republicans have suffered as a result of repressive and sectarian policing in the north. Sinn Féin’s objective has been to change all of that. Our objective has been to secure a proper policing service and to hold that policing service, once achieved, fully to account.
“We don’t want to leave policing to unionists. We don’t want to leave policing to the securocrats in Whitehall. We want it to be under the control of people in Ireland. This is about defending communities. It is about ensuring that there is accountable, non partisan policing as a service. It is up to the PSNI to win the confidence of citizens. They do that by being profession and by upholding peoples’ rights. It is our job to hold them to account and to ensure that they do their job properly. That is what we intend to do.”ENDS