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Britain forms Catholic-Protestant board, including Sinn Fein, to oversee N. Ireland police

Britain forms Catholic-Protestant board, including Sinn Fein, to oversee N. Ireland police

Britain formed a new Catholic-Protestant panel to oversee Northern Ireland's police force Tuesday _ and for the first time it will include officials from Sinn Fein.
The Irish Republican Army-linked party had boycotted the Northern Ireland Policing Board since its creation in 2001, but earlier this month confirmed it would join as part of its new policy of recognizing police authority in the British territory.
The new board, which is scheduled to meet for the first time May 30, is taking office just three weeks after Sinn Fein forged a new coalition government for Northern Ireland alongside the British Protestants of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party.
Government power-sharing and building cross-community support for the police were major goals of Northern Ireland's Good Friday peace accord of 1998.
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain announced the full membership of the new 19-member policing board Tuesday. It includes 10 politicians, who were nominated by their parties based on their strength in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and nine members nominated by Hain.
Hain's selections included an ethnic Indian native of Belfast, four Protestants and four Catholics, among them Gerry O hEara, a former IRA prisoner and Sinn Fein mayor of Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second-largest city.
That appointment meant four Sinn Fein officials will serve on the board alongside four Democratic Unionist representatives.
Democratic Unionists traditionally refused to cooperate with Sinn Fein, but opened up normal relations in March following the IRA's 2005 decisions to renounce violence and disarm and Sinn Fein's January vote to begin cooperating with the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The IRA killed nearly 300 police officers during its failed 1970-1997 campaign to oust Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom.
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On the Net:
http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/


Updated : 2021-10-17 05:34 GMT+08:00