Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Seán Brady attends meeting of Northern Ireland Policing Board in Armagh

04 Nov 2004





“There can be no peace without justice and no justice without an
effective and accountable system of law and order” – Archbishop Seán Brady

Following an invitation to Church leaders, Catholic Primate Archbishop Seán Brady today
attended a public meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board in the City Hotel Armagh,
its second meeting held outside Belfast this year.

Speaking to journalists after the event, Archbishop Brady said, “I wanted to take this
opportunity to express my support for those who are working to make policing more
acceptable to the local community. Those serving on the Policing Board and the local
Policing Partnerships are courageous people working to bring about the type of policing
service we all want to see. Their work is vitally important and they deserve the support
of the whole community. I deplore the intimidation to which they have sometimes been
subjected to in recent times.”

Referring to the third anniversary of the foundation of the Police Service of Northern
Ireland and the Policing Board – which coincides with the meeting – Archbishop Brady
said, “Real progress in policing has been made over the last three years. I am convinced
that even greater progress could be made if the whole community took responsibility for
the future success of policing. There can be no peace without justice and no justice
without an effective and accountable system of law and order. Such a system serves the
whole community and is in the best interest of society. So the whole community should
play its part in bringing about that system. It is not enough to talk about the failings
of the past and just hope for a better future, we have got to take responsibility for,
and play our part in, creating a better future.

“So I have no hesitation in renewing my call to Catholics to work together with others
and play their part in building a just and honourable future. Everyone should reject
completely those who try to halt the progress of our society through violence,
intimidation and criminality,” concluded Archbishop Brady.


* This is the first time that Archbishop Brady has attended a meeting of the Policing
Board of Northern Ireland (PBNI).

* Under the 1998 Patten recommendations, the PBNI, along with the Chief Constable,
has overall responsibility for the management of policing in Northern Ireland.

* The PBNI is in Armagh for it’s regular monthly Board meeting in public – this
being the second time this year the Board has met outside Belfast (meeting in
Omagh in February). Today is – by coincidence – the 3rd anniversary of the
formation of the Policing Board (and also the 3rd anniversary of the formation
of the PSNI). The Board is meeting in private in the morning, and following lunch,
will be holding its hour-long public session. The business in this hour-long
session includes presentations from the Chief Constable on police recruitment,
criminal justice and reform of Special Branch. It will also include questions
to the Chief Constable from Board members on a whole range of topics, as well as
consideration by the Board of a report compiled by expert human rights advisers
into the policing of the Ardoyne Parades this summer.

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)