PSNI chief praises Kelly intervention
PSNI chief praises Kelly intervention

PSNI chief Hugh Orde has publicly praised senior republican figures for intervening between rioting nationalist youths and British forces in north Belfast last month.

Violence broke out after police pushed through hundreds of coat-trailing loyalists accompanying the return leg of a Protestant Orange Order march past the nationalist Ardyon shops.

Sinn Féin assembly member Gerry Kelly was injured as he tried to halt rioting as British soldiers became trapped by a sudden outburst of nationalist anger.

Of the republican intervention Mr Orde says: “Thank heavens they were there. It is a strange thing to say but important...

“The tragedy was, in the whole of the marching season to date, one and a half hours of madness has just stained the whole thing.”

In an interview today, Mr Orde said there was no immediate evidence of any IRA moves to “shut up shop” following suggestions by Sinn Féin President of such a development.

And he also claimed the fact that documents on republicans were missing from Castlereagh security base in east Belfast was ‘not sinister’.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Conor Murphy said that it appeared that Hugh Orde had become ‘the public face of the ongoing cover-up’.

Twenty-eight British soldiers are currently withdrawn from duty as a result of the ongoing inquiry into the whereabouts of the highly classified document. Many of these operated from spy posts in nationalist areas including Divis Tower where it is thought they could have gathered additional information not contained in the Castlereagh dossier.

“For well over a month now Sinn Féin have been pressing the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy to make a statement on the Castlereagh collusion scandal,” said Mr Murphy. “So far he has spoken about everything else under the sun rather than tackle an issue which has placed the lives of up to 400 people in danger.”

“ In any reasonable persons eyes this episode has all of the ingredients of a massive collusion scandal. No reasonable person will view these events as anything other than sinister.”

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2004 Irish Republican News