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Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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21.02.07
RUC INSULT ANSWERED

RUC widows and orphans are today in shock as the insult given by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Ian Blair. Former members many of whom still live with the physical and mental injuries received during their years of service demand an apology form this man. His crass and crude remarks blacken the memory of those officers who were murdered by paramilitaries over the last thirty years. He should be ashamed and repentant for his words.

He glosses over the years of constant terrorist attack and intimidation that was visited upon the RUC and levels the most vicious and damning insult upon them. Speaking to UTV he says they were ”.. a paramilitary or almost completely paramilitary organisation (RUC),” and goes on to speak about the Patton reforms changing them into “…what I think is now an emblem of hope.” Victims are disgusted and will be today physically demanding an apology from this individual. Indeed we are demanding that he issue a full retraction of his statement, a reflection upon the work and times of the RUC and a full and unconditional apology for his ignorance and the offense caused to the RUC family.

Victims including the mother of the last young RUC officer murdered will be contacting the Policing Conference where they will demand a personal and public apology. This conference cannot continue with Mr Blairs participation until this is settled. In his time as Commissioner he has proven his stupidity and incompetence time after time, and he has been shielded by his political masters in London. However such support will not be found here where we are proud and indebted to the men and woman of the RUC.

He should rather be paying tribute to the RUC whose hard work and indeed cooperation with the Met over three decades kept his officers and Londoners in general safe. Indeed many brave RUC officers gave their lives so that men like him could sleep safe in their beds and walk a beat in London unarmed and relatively safe from terrorism. Indeed it is a telling example that when London faced its first real terrorist threat under his command they reacted in the most excessive and violent manner indeed the shooting of John Charles de Menezes can only be described as paramilitary.

The subsequent revelations about a cover-up and Blair’s refusal to give the Independent Police Complaints Commission access to the murder scene smack of what would if repeated in Northern Ireland led to allegations of collusion or a shoot-to-kill policy. Perhaps the RUC/PSNI ought to send over a Steven type team to investigate the Met looking at how racism could lead to bad policing and collusion issues! Perhaps Mr Blair could sort out his own problems before coming here to lecture us on policing.

Today he will apologise not for the offence but for the actual remarks and admit his stupidity or victims will take their campaign to London. We have many friends amongst the victims of terrorism in London who are far from satisfied with Mr Blair’s response to their situation. We are asking past members of the RUC and their Associations to unite with us to ensure an apology.

 



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