Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Another first for Ulster... Sinn Fein on the policing board

Sinn Fein finally joined Northern Ireland's Policing Board for the first time yesterday as the 19 new members gathered in private at their Belfast headquarters to elect a chair and vice-chair.

Sir Desmond Rea, who has been chairman of the Policing Board ever since it was established in November 2001, was re-elected unopposed as chairman.

He said afterwards: "It is a very significant day because for the first time we have an inclusive board. That sends a very important message to the wider community.

"Our role as a board is simply to hold the PSNI to account through the Chief Constable for the delivery of effective and impartial policing."

Belfast-based property developer Barry Gilligan - who last month joined Sir Desmond in a first meeting with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams following his party's decision to get involved in policing structures - also retained his seat as vice-chair. Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey, who is one of three Sinn Fein members to join the Board, said that yesterday was a significant step forward in ensuring the delivery of a "fully accountable and acceptable police service".

Mr Maskey is joined on the board by his party colleagues Daithi McKay (left), a North Antrim MLA, and Martina Anderson, a former IRA prisoner.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz