17/12/2017 – Chief Constable needs to steer clear of politics

Lisnaskea-based South East Fermanagh Foundation (which is also one of 23 member groups attached to the Innocent Victims United umbrella organisation) has questioned the judgement of the Chief Constable following comments he made around the need for new legacy structures to be established, particularly citing the Historical Investigations Unit.

The Lisnaskea-based group has stated that the Chief Constable is effectively doing the “political Establishment’s bidding and that this was unacceptable particularly given the contested nature of the legacy proposals contained within The Stormont House ‘Dis’Agreement”.

In a statement SEFF’s Director of Services Kenny Donaldson said: “Whilst we can acknowledge and indeed empathise with the Chief Constable’s frustration concerning the piecemeal approach being taken around investigating unsolved ‘Troubles related’ murders we nevertheless fundamentally disagree with him and his Service making political statements”.

“Last time we had cause to publicly question the PSNI, namely around the manner in which the Enniskilen Poppy Day Massacre has been dealt with, we were served up a misguided rant which sought to diminish the work of representatives of our organisation in pursuing justice, truth and accountability for the innocent victims of terrorism”.

“The Chief Constable sought to lecture but it is he who is seemingly going around with his eyes and ears closed. Let him and others be clear that neither SEFF nor the IVU memberships, nor indeed very many others support the legacy structures as currently presented because there is limited means to hold accountable terrorism for its’ crimes, it’s as simple as that”.

“We have deep concerns that there will exist an inherent bias against the Police and Army and that’s not acceptable. Where terrorism or crime has been perpetrated all must be treated equally from here on in, not withstanding the concessions terrorism has obtained to date – early prisoner releases, OTR Assurance letters, Royal Prerogatives of Mercy etc”.

“There is no political agreement for the suite of institutions proposed. One out of the five main political parties has to date ratified the Stormont House ‘Agreement.’ – SF/PIRA with a number being highly critical of the structures currently proposed, particularly the Historical Investigations Unit”.

“If the NIO proceeds with launching a public consultation on the proposed legacy structures contained within The Stormont House ‘Dis’Agreement then it needs to be an open and transparent process where Government is prepared to respond to what comes back at them. This consultation must not be a superficial ‘CON’-sultation”.

“We are clear that those who hold core responsibility for the deaths of ‘The Troubles’ are terrorists, whether republican or loyalist and whatever failings the Police or others had concerning such cases whether pre the attack or in the event’s aftermath, all must remember that 90% of lives lost during ‘The Troubles’ were as a consequence of triggers pulled or bombs detonated by terrorists,” concluded Mr Donaldson.