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Sinn Fein must wake up to the need for police to have their informers

As a retired former RUC officer, I take issue with the comments attributed to Sinn Fein Policing Board member Daithi McKay MLA (Belfast Telegraph, July 29) pertaining to the £299,000 bill for police informers, asking for more accountability from the PSNI on this issue.

Without taking anything out of context he states: “Obviously we all know the stories about informers in the north before and their agendas, it is not the way we want to go forward in terms of community policing”.

These informers are a vital part/source of intelligence gathering. Every police service throughout the world engages in such tactics.

What I don’t condone is the manner relating to the past whereby touts/informants were given a free rein to act in a manner above and beyond reproach.

I was never culpable for such actions. Also let me remind Mr McKay that touts/informants operated on a ‘two-way system’ applicable to both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.

How many alleged republican paramilitary touts were subject to the Green Book ‘code of honour and discipline’, ie “To betray a comrade is treasonable, punished by death”?

The alleged “touts” were savagely and brutally tortured prior to being shot in the back of the head. At the Saville Inquiry, the Deputy First Minister stated when asked an awkward question: “I cannot betray my former comrades”.

Sinn Fein wishes to move forward with “equality and inclusivity” yet they, above all others, continue to commemorate their fallen comrades and berate the British Army and the RUC.

Perhaps Sinn Fein should commence by putting their own house in order.

Disband your volunteers and army council. Take the blinkers and the shackles off, act like politicians and then, maybe then, people within Northern Ireland will treat you as a truly democratic political party with no strings or baggage attached.

Former RUC Member (RC)

name and address supplied

Belfast Telegraph


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