29 April 2005

Daily Ireland

SF hits out at Orde

PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde has once again been accused of making a “political intervention” after he told reporters that IRA activity is continuing.
“We know they are still recruiting, they still target, they still carry out the activities that they have always done with the exception of actually going out to kill soldiers, police, civilians, members of the public,” Mr Orde said in Belfast.
Mr Orde, however, said that it is his view that “the Provisional IRA are not going back to an armed struggle”.
“That is my current assessment. They have the capability. They have the capacity.
The Chief Constable’s comments come exactly one week before the general and local elections in the North.
Dismissing Mr Orde’s intervention as “political”, Sinn Féin general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said his party “will not allow Hugh Orde, or anyone else, to distract us from our efforts to rebuild the political process and see the recent initiative by Gerry Adams built upon”.
“At a time when those of us in the leadership of Sinn Féin are concentrating on rebuilding the political process and following on from confirmation that the IRA have authorised a discussion on its future direction, nationalists and republicans will view Hugh Orde’s comments as yet another political intervention from the PSNI,” Mr Laughlin said.
“When Hugh Orde took over the reins of the PSNI he told us that he would not mix policing with politics.
“Unfortunately on a number of occasions he has insisted on making very overt political interventions.
“Given the fact that these latest remarks come in the midst of an election campaign and at a time when the initiative by Gerry Adams offers the prospect of forward movement in the political process, many questions will be raised about the intentions of the PSNI in the time ahead,” Mr McLaughlin said.

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