Special Envoy for Northern Ireland
Saturday, February 4, 2006
of your strong, unreserved support of the PSNI,
I thought you would be interested in the enclosed
article from Daily Ireland, "PSNI
won't become representative of wider society in
North until 2027" (Friday, February 3,
your recent visit to Northern Ireland, you generated
the following headline "PSNI
THE BEST IN EUROPE SAYS REISS" (January
27, 22006. email@example.com).
Many of us wish your support for the PSNI were a
little bit more critical and cautious. It would
be a pity if your good work for Ireland became overshadowed
by your exuberant and uncritical support for a police
service about which there are still many profoundly
disturbing questions. Remember how the good work
(however belated) of JFK and LBJ for Civil Rights
came to be overshadowed in the African-American
community by the nefarious work of the wretched
J. Edgar Hoover and his racist FBI?
you have not already read it, I would strongly recommend
you read "Racial Matters: the FBI's secret
file on Black America, 1960-1972" by Kenneth
O'Reilly (The Free Press. New York. 1989). Permit
me to give you a quote from this very important
the March on Washington, SNCC Chairman John Lewis
wanted to know which side the federal government
was on. In 1979, fifteen years after Freedom Summer,
a group of movement veterans gathered in Jackson,
Mississippi, to reconsider those times and to try
to answer Lewis's question. When one of them railed
against "the subversion" of the movement
by "the self-styled 'pragmatism' of those splendid
scoundrels residing in the Camelot on the Potomac,"
he received " a cheering, standing ovation".
One of the persons in the audience, New York Times
columnist Anthony Lewis, said he came expecting
a celebration of amazing change but instead found
bitterness directed not at "the old segregationists
of Mississippi but Northern liberals and, especially,
the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. (page
Catholic from Northern Ireland can read that quote
without profound resonance.
you, I too want to see an acceptable police service
("fair and impartial, free from partisan political
control; accountable, both under the law for its
actions and to the community it serves ...",
as the Good Friday Agreement envisioned) but the
article does little to inspire confidence.
does the conduct of the PSNI in the recent past.
For example, former policeman, the very brave Jonty
Brown, has publicly admitted that he is in fear
of his life, not from the IRA, but form elements
in the Special Branch because he has exposed their
collusion. (See the enclosed article, 'Former
colleagues will try to kill me' By Connla Young
Daily Ireland. January 2, 2006"). Yet you have
remained silent on matters like this, while being
quite vocal about other accusations regarding Republicans.
feel it is very important that you avoid any appearance
of a double-standard. So I urge you to speak out
on these matters so that your good work for Ireland
will not be overshadowed by headlines like "PSNI
the best in Europe" (and, yes, I know you don't
write the headlines).
would be a profound tragedy if the honest-broker
title of the Special Envoy for Northern Ireland
came to be replaced by that of "Recruiting-Sergeant
for the PSNI".
Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849
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