British Military Intelligence at the Heart of the Policing Process

TPQ carries a press release from the PRO Department of the 1916 Societies.

The 1916 Societies held a well attended and highly successful discussion in the Ashgrove Centre in Portadown on Saturday past, March 1st, to highlight the ongoing issue of political policing and the continued presence of British Military Intelligence at the heart of the policing process in the occupied six-counties. Darragh Mackin from KRW Law was joined on the panel by eirigi's Breandan MacCionnaith and Stephen Geraghty from recently formed human rights group, Justice Watch Ireland.

Much of the discussion focused on the use of a 'stop and search' policy on behalf of the PSNI as a tool of political harassment as well as continuing attempts by both the PSNI and MI5 to coerce young people in the six-counties into working as state-paid informers and how such attempts constitute a severe infringement of the right to life guaranteed under the European Convention.

Following a contribution from the floor by Dungannon republican Packy Carty it also became evident that efforts to tackle this issue of informer recruitment through the office of the Police Ombudsman, in relation to a recent attempt by uniformed PSNI Officers to recruit a young man in Dungannon in broad daylight in a crowded street, had revealed the accountability mechanisms supposedly contained in the Patten reforms to deal with such infringements were in effect non-existent and in their own words 'not the business of the Ombudsman's office'.

This is a startling contradiction of the propaganda which tells us the PSNI is now accountable locally, nothing could be further from the truth. An estimated 40 percent of the force has ties to MI5 structures and often such ties - due to the the fact MI5 is beyond the reach of the Patten reforms - effectively means the accountability structures supposedly put in place to prevent the type of abuses witnessed when the PSNI was known by its old title - the RUC - in many instance are effectively compromised.

That MI5 should have no role in policing given its sordid history - much of which has yet to be fully exposed - should be self-evident but the reality is they occupy a central role within the prism of policing in the north of Ireland today despite assurances to the contrary. This has severe implications for the political position of those apologists of the PSNI who maintain we have been in a new policing dispensation since 2007. Given the unaccountable role British Military Intelligence plays in policing then any such notion has been well and truly put to bed. It has been categorically shown to have no basis under the current policing reality.

All in all the days events demonstrated to those in attendance that policing in the north of Ireland has failed to make the promised strides forward in terms of local accountability those still condemned to live under Britain's authority in the six-counties were promised under the banner of the 'new dispensation'. Quite simply this has never materialised.

Alongside the all-pervasive role of MI5, within both policing structures and wider society itself, it goes to show that we are not as far removed from the conditions that gave rise to the myriad human rights abuses attributed to the British state during the recent armed conflict in this part of Ireland as some would have us believe. This should be a cause of concern for us all.


  1. I cant for the love of me understand why most people of the republican presuasion keep focusing on MI5,s role in policing here , the men in suits have a much deeper role here than just policing ,in fact I,d say that they run the whole fucking show, policing being just another cog in the overall machine, their involvement here needs to be looked at from every aspect folks .remember Kincora.

  2. MI5 are the bearing which everything revolves around.

    Its hard to differentiate between a tout and a genuine republican, It could be anyone, but that's how they want you to think, I say, Eyes and ears open.

  3. itsjustmacker

    You nailed it. Plus people don't see any other end-game for any emerging group other than where SF ended up. If a difference can be identified people may be more energetic in their support.

  4. This is a public service announcement which I cut & pasted from the Sinn £ein website….

    Application forms for a career in MI5 can be obtained from any Sinn £ein advice centre throughout the land, one just has to drop into any local branch for a friendly & hospitable chat with a senior Sinn £ein careers representative who will have many decades of experience as an MI5 agent and will gladly talk you through the whole process.

    Term & Conditions are as follows: Applicants must vote Sinn £ein.

  5. yes, i love reading shakespeare too michael henry the IV

  6. Ml5 are also involved in policing in the south as well if ask me

  7. marty, u are right. they are under the ground now outside belfast and underground is where they belong the bastards. that place is a cancer on this island. some day it will be filled in with good antrim muck, le cunamh de.

  8. You are right Marty, MI5 are involved in all aspects of society no doubt and seek to turn any influence they may have in any quarter to the advantage of the British state. Nothing as ever worries McIvor I see. Strange how the CAJ report has been and gone for Mickey yet he still trumpets 'a new beginning to policing' - MI5 included

  9. Alec McCrory, who contributed regularly on here, is currently stuck in Maghaberry Gaol interned by remand on the back of an MI5-led sting. So to call it "much ado about nothing" is typical of a wider refusal on the part of Mickey's party to recognise they failed to bring about the type of "radical change for the benefit of ordinary people" Gerry Kelly swore blind would be the case back in 2007 when rail-roaring the Sinn Fein party-base into accepting the RUC. I'm only surprised that McIvor in his efforts to echo the party line and good old Gerry hasn't started using his "and let me be clear about this" bullshit. We're all sick of hearing Sinn Fein's bogus dismissal of the corrupt involvement of British Military Intelligence at the heart of policing just as no doubt many of us are tired of GK's well-worn mantra

  10. Sean,

    the Societies are doing a fine job in continuing to monitor these situations. Particularly so when others went asleep at the wheel and pretended they were still in charge of the driving.

    Make use of Michaelhenry's utterances to get your own perspective out there, not to persuade him. As Robert Heinlein would often say “Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

    Unfortunately, that is how it is.

  11. Haha Gerry Kelly was assured a better way to steer said vehicle was from a spread eagled position on its bonnet.