Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wanted: One Ombudsperson

So it's time for a new Police Ombudsman, apparently, now that Nuala O'Loan's term is up. She a difficult job fairly well, but she's a funny old fish, don't you think? That accent takes ages to tune in to. Whoever they appoint, I hope it's someone with either an Irish accent or an English accent, but not a hybrid that sounds "fit on", as we say in Fermanagh.
More important, though, is the substance. Whoever takes over will have the job of investigating the police when major complaints are lodged. The ombudsman has to have serious credibility with the UK government, (increasingly) the √Čire government, local politicians across the spectrum and - I think importantly at this stage in our democratic development - mainstream Republicans.
Therein may lie the rub. Whereas most Unionists would probably acknowledge that a Unionist (or English) jobholder would not enjoy the level of Gaelic favour we need to make further socio-political progress, few of them will tolerate anyone with the slightest connection or sympathies with the IRA, and quite rightly. So the challenge is to identify a politically neutral figure - probably a Roman Catholic - acceptable to people in both Ballinamallard and Belleek.
It doesn't have to be someone they like, just someone they feel will be even-handed. Any suggestions?


At 5:32 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

Perhaps someone who was formerly involved with the SDLP.

At 9:14 a.m., Anonymous Tony said...

Billy Leonard? :)

At 11:37 a.m., Blogger JG said...

Bono! :)

Oh, no, he might not be acceptable to republicans, being a British Knight and all that!

At 12:00 a.m., Blogger El Matador said...

The pay's not bad- I might put in a CV myself, despite being hideously under-qualified (it hasn't stopped the NIO picking people before) ;)


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