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Policing Board response to Ardoyne pathetic

15 July, 2004

North Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly has branded the response of the Policing Board chairperson Des Rea to the PSNI operation in Ardoyne on the Twelfth as 'pathetic'.

Mr Kelly said:

"Des Rea and his colleagues on the Policing Board would have us believe that their function is to hold the PSNI to account. Yet his response to the events in Ardoyne when the PSNI overturned a Parades Commission determination and forced a loyalist mob through nationalist areas is at best pathetic.

"He is seeking a report from the PSNI on the matter and claims that the Policing Board will get around to considering the mater in September at the earliest. This is hardly what people would view as holding the PSNI to account.

"Des Rea and his colleagues are increasingly seen as little more than a rubber stamping body for PSNI operations. They are incapable of exercising effective accountability over the PSNI because they do not have the power to do so. Policing Board members are well aware of this fact. So to is the PSNI.

" The activities of the PSNI in the past week in Ardoyne and Lurgan prove once again that the Sinn Féin assessment on policing is the correct one." ENDS

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