Belfast Telegraph

Justice Ministers opt out of cross-border police summit

By Tom Brady

A cross-border police summit on organised crime co-operation will be held without the two Justice Ministers for the first time.

The ministers have traditionally attended the conferences for the past 10 years as they alternated in venue from north to south.

But both Stormont's David Ford and his Irish counterpart Alan Shatter have indicated the will not to attend this year's event, which takes place in Dundalk tomorrow and Thursday.

Mr Shatter said that, given the particular operational emphasis of this year's conference, it would be more appropriate for the Garda Commissioner and the PSNI Chief Constable to take the lead.

Rather than attend the conference, the two ministers, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable would have a separate meeting in the coming weeks.

Senior PSNI and Garda officers will discuss the attack on south Armagh man Paul Quinn in the Co Monaghan village of Oram in 2007.

Also on the agenda will be the murder last January outside Dundalk of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, amongst other issues.

This is the 11th cross-border police summit. The others, always attended by ministers from both sides, have been acclaimed as highly successful.

Mr Shatter said the respective heads of police "were happy with this approach".

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