Republican News · Thursday 5 October 1999

[An Phoblacht]

US House says: Implement Patten in Full

A resolution urging the British government to implement the Patten report in full, passed in the US House of Representatives unanimously on 26 September.

The motion read that: `HR 547 calls on the British government to ``fully and faithfully'' implement all of the Patten Commission's policing reforms'. A similar resolution is awaiting mark-up from the Senate Committee on International Relations.

Vice President and Presidential hopeful, Al Gore added his voice to the call for full implementation, saying, ``I want to make clear my position on the Patten Commission's recommendations for police reform in Northern Ireland. I urge the British government to fully and expeditiously implement these recommendations.''

The third highest elected official in the United States, Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, also called on the British government ``to fully implement (the Patten) reforms.'' The Speaker added, ``The path of peace in Northern Ireland must travel through comprehensive policing reforms. Too many citizens in Northern Ireland simply do not trust the RUC. It must be overhauled in such a way that builds trust in both communities.''

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams paid tribute to the US politicians after the House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the implementation of the Patten proposals in full. And he has praised today's support for the Patten proposals from the Speaker of the House Denis Hastert.

Mr. Adams said, ``I would like to commend and thank all of those politicians in the U.S.A. who have supported the demand for a new policing service. In particular I commend the work of the Chairman of the International Relations Committee Congressman Ben Gilman, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights, Congressman Chris Smith, and Congressman Richie Neal the initiator of this resolution to Congress. I would also like to thank Congressman Peter King, Congressman Joe Crowley, Congressman James Walsh, and Congressman Donald Payne, among others, for their hard work and dedication to this issue.''

The Sinn Féin President gave a warm welcome to the unprecedented support from the Speaker of the House for the Patten proposals. Denis Hastert is the highest elected official in the USA, behind only the President and Vice-President. Mr. Adams said: `` I would also like to welcome today's statement by the speaker of the House of Representatives Denis Hastert. He echoes once again the call for the full implementation of the Patten proposals. His intervention is of crucial importance.

``There is unanimity across the political divide in the United States in support of the full implementation of the Patten recommendations. Political leaders and Irish America understand the critical importance of policing for the future and its centrality in terms of the Good Friday Agreement. US politicians are in no doubt about where the blame for the current crisis lies - with the British government.''

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