Sinn Féin 'must show visible support for policing'

The time for true and visible Sinn Féin support for policing has arrived, the Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists said tonight.

The party leader said they had forced republicans to recognise the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Delegates at a special Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin voted overwhelmingly to work with the service.

Mr Paisley said: “The DUP has forced Sinn Féin to recognise support for the police and the rule of law as an issue of paramount importance for which there can be no other way. Sinn Féin must now walk this road.

“No post-dated action can take the place of real delivery. The postponements must come to an end.

“The time for true, visible and open support for the police and law enforcement has arrived.”

Today’s shift means telling police about crime, taking seats on accountability bodies like the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships.

Mr Paisley said anything less than full implementation of Sinn Féin’s commitments would render today’s meeting valueless.

“Only with real delivery can the way be cleared for a full return to democracy and a facing up to the everyday needs and requirements of the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.

“The site must be cleared before proper building can begin. All Ulster people, across both the religious and political divides, know that it is now or never.”

The DUP, the majority unionist party, will be expected to share power with Sinn Féin by the time the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive is restored on March 26.

That was part of the deal agreed last October by the Irish and British governments at St Andrews in Scotland.

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