Irish Republican News · February 5, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Policing Board faces new controversies

The Policing Board, which oversees policing in the North of Ireland, is to be reconstituted with Sinn Féin representatives for the first time later this month.

Last week Sinn Féin voted at a special party conferenceto sign up to the new policing structures in the event of local power-sharing between unionists and nationalists being restored.

It is expected that Sinn Féin could end up with two or three seats on a reconstituted police board alongside representatives from the unionist DUP and UUP and the nationalist SDLP.

Sinn Féin delegates voted to back policing structures even if power-sharing does not return and the two governments then move to the fall-back political ‘plan B’ of joint government arrangements for the Six Counties.

Meanwhile, the parents of a North Belfast man murdered by PSNI Special Branch agents have walked out of a meeting with Policing Board chairman Desmond Rea.

Raymond and Vivienne McCord met Mr Rea on Wednesday at headquarters of the Policing Board. They were there seeking support for their campaign to jail the paramilitaries who killed, and the PSNI members who covered up, the murder of their son.

But halfway through the meeting the grieving parents got up and left, complaining that Mr Rea was “pompous” and “speaking to them like a schoolmaster”.

“He listened to what we were saying but wouldn’t tell me straight whether he would support our campaign to have the policemen who covered up young Raymond’s murder jailed,” said Mr McCord.

“That was bad enough, but when he started defending Dawn Purvis, myself and Vivienne walked out.”

Ms Purvis, who was named as the new leader of the Progressive Unionist Party following the death of David Ervine, is a member of the Policing Board.

Her role on the body angers Mr McCord because the PUP politically represents the unionist paramilitary UVF, a group still involved in gun violence and crime.

“I asked Mr Rea whether he believes Dawn Purvis should be thrown off the Policing Board.

“He started defending her. That was enough for me so my wife and I left,” added Mr McCord.

“Mr Rea is prepared to defend a woman who gives political advice to the UVF, an organisation which murdered my son and which is looking to kill me, yet he won’t support my campaign to jail the cops who covered up my son’s murder.

“I found him to be pompous and arrogant. I was really disappointed with his attitude.”

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© 2007 Irish Republican News