FIRST Minister Peter Robinson said organisers of loyalist protests who refer to police as the ” terrorist PSNI ” should not be listened to. The DUP leader hit out at protesters who attacked police in east Belfast on Thursday saying their actions were ” a disgrace, criminally wrong and cannot be justified “.
He said unionists should ignore those protest organisers who criticise the PSNI. ” It will be enough for any unionist to know the organisers of the protest movement are not to be heeded when they hear them refer to the police as the ‘ terrorist PSNI ‘ and describe police officers as ‘ Nazis ‘. This is language borrowed from the republican handbook,” he said. Loyalists have protested almost every night since Belfast councillors voted on December 3 to only allow the Union flag to be flown on designated days over city hall. Mr Robinson said he and other unionists are also angry at the vote but claimed protest organisers were only interested in attacking the DUP. ” It is not about the flag, the Alliance Party, Sinn Fein or the erosion of culture.
It is a straight-forward politically motivated attempt to undermine the DUP as the voice of unionism despite our attempts to oppose the removal of the Union Flag in Belfast,” he said. He also criticised calls by some organisers for the north to come under direct rule from Westminster again. ” This is the Direct Rule that left unionism powerless and put Sinn Fein in the driving seat with a Dublin government fighting the nationalist case while the British government remained neutral,” he said. ” Let these so-called ‘leaders ‘ set out their case as to how Direct Rule will get the flag back or aid the unionist cause.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of State for the North of IrelandTheresa Villiers said the violent protests were damaging the north’s image across the world. ” Northern Ireland is in a global race for investment and jobs and we need to be projecting the reality of a forward-looking, modern Northern Ireland, not one which is tied up in the kind of conflict which is associated with its past rather than its present,” she told BBC Radio Ulster yesterday.
A lawyer representing the families and wounded of Bloody Sunday says he is “staggered” that the PSNI have still made no attempts to either question or arrest any former soldier involved in the 1972 massacre.
Peter Madden, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, last night hit out at the police’s “abject failure” to progress the murder investigation which was announced back in July. The lack of progress was confirmed in a PSNI letter to Madden & Finucane this week.
The correspondence confirmed that, besides the initial “scoping exercise” into the murders, PSNI have yet to further the case for soldiers’ prosecutions and have yet to appoint a family liaison officer to work alongside families and those who were wounded on January 30, 1972.
At the time of going to press, police still hadn’t responded to a ‘Journal’ query into the matter.
Families of those murdered have expressed disbelief following the revelations.
Joe McKinney, whose brother William was shot dead in Glenfada Park, also says he is “extremely angry”. Citing the example of another historical murder inquiry, he demands a “level playing field” when it comes to investigating crimes committed by the armed forces.
“I read a newspaper report in recent months concerning the trial of a man accused of murdering Captain Robert Nairac in 1977. The Crown barrister opening the prosecution said that the passage of time must not absolve those accused of heinous crimes being brought to justice, but it appears to me to grant absolution if the person responsible for the crime wore a British Army uniform,” Mr McKinney told the ‘Journal’.
“I am extremely angry that there does not appear to be a level playing field and that those responsible for the murders committed on Bloody Sunday are not being pursued with any genuine conviction or rigour by the PSNI.”
I think anybody sitting in a British Stormont Executive, implementing British Rule on occupied Irish soil & condoning the INTERNMENT & maltreatment of RepublicanPOW s is an affront to TRUE Irish Republicanism!! Good luck with peddling the ‘á la carte’ PSF version..beir bua!! “Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art with great Irish fools to practice on.”