21 December 2005

Stormont raid slammed

Belfast Telegraph

**Several key terms here: 'political theatre' and 'more embedded' (as in touts, for instance), plus I find it interesting that when it is clear that Sinn Féin should be concerned with its own vulnerability from within, it is busy pointing the finger at the other slimy entity and laying blame. I would say this is to detract from anyone looking more closely at the SF leadership, but then, that's just my opinion. Both Gerrys know full well that the best defence is is to go on the attack.

'Coup' bid set progress back three years: Kelly

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
21 December 2005

THE attempted "coup d'etat" of Stormontgate had cost Northern Ireland three years of political progress, Sinn Fein has claimed.

Policing spokesman Gerry Kelly said the "political vacuum" which had followed the collapse of the Assembly and Executive had come from "somewhere deep in the British system.

"We could have had three to four years when the institutions would have become more embedded and we would have had political control over education, health and the things that affect people in their daily lives," he said.

But he added the party did not seek an inquiry which would put off political progress perhaps for another three to five years.

The North Belfast Assembly member also said he would not allow the revelation that former senior party administrator Denis Donaldson had been a British spy for 20 years to prevent him meeting Tony Blair or Secretary of State Peter Hain.

As the ramifications of the Stormontgate affair continued to reverberate, Mr Kelly said it had been shown to be the result of "political policing" at its worst.

"It is clear that the British state agencies who mounted this operation knew that there was no value other than political theatre to raid the Sinn Fein offices in Stormont," he said.

"No documents or evidence were recovered in that raid. The two discs removed were returned to the party within days.

"Hugh Orde is unable to justify the raid because it was unjustifiable. It was politically motivated and intended to cause maximum political damage, a result which was achieved."

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said, however, that any attempt by republicans to paint themselves as the victims in the affair is "clearly ludicrous.

"The real victims are the hundreds of innocent people forced to move or take security measures because information about them fell into the wrong hands."

But he also said PSNI chief constable Sir Hugh Orde had failed to explain why no one was to be prosecuted.

"The Chief Constable has made it clear that any wrongdoing by an informant is not excusable and will be punished.

"If so the exposure of Donaldson's life as an informant cannot have been reason enough to drop the charges," the DUP secretary added.

" The chief's remarks only strengthen the case for a full statement from government ministers about the whole affair."

Good comment , Micheailin - you should do so more often .
But then , you and I have been here before !

Sharon .
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