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Religion is nothing but an outdated irrelevance when it comes to recruitment of police officers

letter of the day: psni make-up

Your report into difficulties the PSNI has recruiting Catholics (September 6) highlights the malaise which still pervades the governing and administrative classes in Northern Ireland.

The report uses the term 'Catholic' and 'nationalist/republican' interchangeably. It is not clear whether this is direct reporting from PSNI sources or your crime correspondent's interpretation but, either way, it is very concerning that 18 years beyond the return of devolved government in Northern Ireland those who are described as Catholics are automatically branded as holding the dismal 19th century outlooks of nationalism or republicanism. Most Catholics must feel very insulted by the smear.

As long as our public institutions play along with the outmoded theory of two communities needing cajoling and pampering to play their part in civil society, Northern Ireland will remain in political paralysis.

The make-up of the present Executive at Stormont with a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister ensures this.

It should be no concern of the PSNI as to what the religious make-up of their police force is. They have much more serious work to do. It is time that all the subsequent constitutional stitch-ups which rendered the Good Friday Agreement unworkable were challenged.

While that agreement was endorsed by referendum, the subsequent tinkering has not been, and the legitimacy of the present devolved arrangements are questionable to say the least.

It is time for our political and media classes to catch up with the people.

Alan Love


Belfast Telegraph


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