"Do Not Become A Recruiting-Sergeant For PSNI" Reiss Is Advised

Posted By: February 06, 2006

“Do Not Become Recruiting-Sergeant For PSNI”, Reiss
Is Advised

A letter to Mitchel Reiss

Father Sean Mc Manus,
President, Irish National Caucus
4 February 2006

Dr. Mitchel Reiss
Special Envoy for Northern Ireland

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Dear Mitchel,

Because of your strong, unreserved support of the PSNI, I
thought you would be interested in the enclosed article
from Daily Ireland, “PSNI won’t become representative of
wider society in North until 2027″ (Friday, February 3,

On your recent visit to Northern Ireland, you generated the
(January 27, 22006.
news@iais.org ).
http://iais.org/shtmp.cfm?News_ID=4316 )

Many of us wish your support for the PSNI were a little bit
more critical and cautious. It would be a pity if your good
work for Ireland became overshadowed by your exuberant and
uncritical support for a police service about which there
are still many profoundly disturbing questions. Remember
how the good work (however belated) of JFK and LBJ for
Civil Rights came to be overshadowed in the African-
American community by the nefarious work of the wretched J.
Edgar Hoover and his racist FBI?

If you have not already read it, I would strongly recommend
you read “Racial Matters: the FBI’s secret file on Black
America, 1960-1972″ by Kenneth O’Reilly (The Free Press.
New York. 1989). Permit me to give you a quote from this
very important study:

During the March on Washington, SNCC Chairman John Lewis
wanted to know which side the federal government was on. In
1979, fifteen years after Freedom Summer, a group of
movement veterans gathered in Jackson, Mississippi, to
reconsider those times and to try to answer Lewis’s
question. When one of them railed against “the subversion”
of the movement by “the self-styled ‘pragmatism’ of those
splendid scoundrels residing in the Camelot on the
Potomac,” he received ” a cheering, standing ovation”. One
of the persons in the audience, New York Times columnist
Anthony Lewis, said he came expecting a celebration of
amazing change but instead found bitterness directed not at
“the old segregationists of Mississippi but Northern
liberals and, especially, the Kennedy and Johnson
Administrations. (page 356).

No Catholic from Northern Ireland can read that quote
without profound resonance.

Like you, I too want to see an acceptable police service
(“fair and impartial, free from partisan political control;
accountable, both under the law for its actions and to the
community it serves …”, as the Good Friday Agreement
envisioned) but the enclosed article does little to inspire

Nor does the conduct of the PSNI in the recent past. For
example, former policeman, the very brave Jonty Brown, has
publicly admitted that he is in fear of his life, not from
the IRA, but form elements in the Special Branch because he
has exposed their collusion. (See the enclosed article,
‘Former colleagues will try to kill me’ By Connla Young
Daily Ireland. January 2, 2006″).
s&id=19679&opp=1) Yet you have remained silent on matters
like this, while being quite vocal about other accusations
regarding Republicans.

I feel it is very important that you avoid any appearance
of a double-standard. So I urge you to speak out on these
matters so that your good work for Ireland will not be
overshadowed by headlines like “PSNI the best in Europe”
(and, yes, I know you don’t write the headlines).

It would be a profound tragedy if the honest-broker title
of the Special Envoy for Northern Ireland came to be
replaced by that of “Recruiting-Sergeant for the PSNI”.

Thank you,

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849