Patten Report `gutted'
Speaking at a Sinn Féin press conference in Dublin which preceded
a special briefing for TDs and Senators on Thursday, 1 June,
Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin highlighted ``the
widespread alarm and anger among nationalists and republicans and
among many others concerned with civil liberties at the British
``Central and essential recommendations of the Patten Report on
Policing have been diluted or removed. The media focus has been
on the issue of the name and badge of the new police service. It
must be stressed that while these issues are very important there
are other very fundamental flaws in the Policing Bill. To put it
bluntly, the Patten Report has been `gutted'.
``On 6 May, in the wake of the discussions at Hillsborough which
led to the re-establishment of the Executive, the British and
Irish governments sent an open letter to the party leaders,
including the President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams. In that
letter, they stated that the British government would implement
the Patten Report. The British government has failed to do so.
``This Policing Bill does not implement Patten.
``Sinn Féin has received an unprecedented response from our
members and supporters who are incensed at the way in which
long-promised and long-overdue measures to transform policing and
rid us of the sectarian legacy of the RUC are being reneged on.
``Policing is a core issue on which the entire future of the
peace process depends. That is why we called this press
conference and that is why we have organised today's delegation
to the Oireachtas to brief TDs and Senators on this very
``In answer to a Dáil question from me on Tuesday the Taoiseach
repeated the Irish government's commitment to the Patten Report'.
Again in the Dáil yesterday, the Taoiseach spoke of the need for
the full implementation of the Patten Report. This has been
echoed by SDLP representatives and by a number of British Labour
MPs. It is vital that all sections of political opinion in this
State also make clear the unacceptability of anything short of an
entirely new beginning for policing in the North of Ireland.''