Belfast Telegraph

I'll work with Sinn Fein, says Orde

30 August 2004

PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde has said he would be willing to work with a Sinn Fein Justice Minister should devolved government return to Northern Ireland after talks resume this week.

Speaking on RTE radio, Mr Orde said he would be obliged to work with whoever was appointed to the portfolio, saying: "That's what policing in a democracy is."

He added: "I will do my level best to work with whoever is appointed in the situation as Justice Minister.

"Whether I like it or not is absolutely irrelevant. Whether my officers like it or not is irrelevant.

"It would be an obligation on me to work with (Sinn Fein), it's not whether I want to or not. It's an obligation and I will without doubt deliver on my obligations."

Talks aimed at restoring Stormont are due to begin on Wednesday.

Initial discussions will focus on internal arrangements in Northern Ireland, including the establishment of a justice department in Belfast.

So far Sinn Fein has refused to participate in the process of local democratic supervision of the PSNI.

"That's what the vision of Patten was: it was a representative policing board which currently it isn't because of their decision," Mr Orde said.

"What I have to do is create the conditions that Patten wanted us to deliver."

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