In simple language, it is a fundamental denial of basic parental human rights to take children into state custody in order to serve a political end.
The state already has adequate measures in place to protect children if they are at risk but this is not what Simon Byrne was intending.
Using children as the Chief Constable suggests has sinister and chilling echoes of the fascist regimes of Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet and is something that cannot be countenanced in any civilised society.
Why should Chief Constable Byrne decide to take this step now? It is something that never happened during the decades of intense conflict that raged in the North from 1969 until the end of the last century.
If he truly believes in what he said, he is unsuitable for office. If he feels the need to appear macho among the North’s armed police-force, he is unsuitable for office. If he is a blundering incompetent unaware of history, he is unsuitable for office.
There has been a long history of bad policing in the Six-Counties and it certainly does not appear likely that the latest Chief Constable is going to make any improvement to this sorry legacy.
It begs the question, indeed, what type of political entity would choose a police chief who makes this type of threat?
Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig is an independent councillor on Donegal County Council.