Statement by Minster Cowen on the establishment of the Policing Board
The Irish Government welcomes the establishment of the Policing Board, which will have a key role in ensuring implementation of the new policing arrangements.
These arrangements will be based on the new Implementation Plan and the package of measures agreed between the two Governments at Weston Park, including the British Government’s commitment to introduce new legislation.
I wish the members of the Board well as they take on the responsibility for realising the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement. On their shoulders rests an enormous challenge - the task of bringing about a fully accountable, representative and effective police service for all the people of Northern Ireland. In carrying out their work, the members of the Board should seek to respect the spirit and intent of the Patten Report.
I also welcome the appointment of Professor Desmond Rea and Denis Bradley as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board. Working together jointly, they will have a pivotal role in directing the work of the Board in its crucial start-up period when many key issues will have to be addressed. They have our full support for this hugely important work.