What went on, exactly, at the meetings that were held at St. Andrews? Did Ian Paisley really say what Gerry Adams says he said? Sir Reg Empey, leader of the Ulster Unionists, would like to know.
According to the St. Andrews agreement, police service in the northern six counties was to be put under local control. Instead of being run from London, the PSNI was to be answerable to the boys and girls sitting in Stormont. Some of those boys and girls are Catholics, as luck would have it, and can any unionist really accept a Papist having anything to do with police business?
Speaking for the Democratic Unionists, Mr. Paisley insists that his group never said that May of 2008 was the deadline for devolution of policing powers. No dates were set at all, and the IRA has to disband their army council, and end their sectarian campaigns against the sectarian Orange Orders and did that last bit change the subject for once and all?
The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are both pushing for devolution, and both governments believe that May, 2008, was the agreed month. Sinn Fein has been trumpeting the deadline as well, so you'd think that if three out of the four attendees believe in the date, then the fourth attendee is in a state of denial.
With Shinners nosing around the police records, and investigators looking into collusion between the British Army and the RUC, it isn't looking good for the old loyalist dinosaurs. Are they headed for extinction after May, or will Westminster blink?