Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Letters: Orde's evidence

Two letters from the Irish Independent on the Northern Bank robbery:

Sir - Denis Hurley's letter assumes "that as Chief Constable of the PSNI, Hugh Orde is not one to make outlandish statements without proof to back them up". He then uses this assumption to believe that the IRA was behind the Northern Bank robbery and calls for the exclusion of Sinn Fein, the third largest party on this island and in this State at last year's European elections.

Apart from the fact that Hugh Orde has not produced any proof to back up his claims, has Mr Hurley forgotten about the so-called 'Stormontgate' affair when the PSNI raided Sinn Fein offices at Stormont? Hugh Orde and his colleagues claimed that there was a 'spy ring' operating at Stormont. Just as now, political parties, north and south, lapped all this up and used it to attack Sinn Fein and bring down the Stormont Assembly.

Yet, despite the high-profile arrests and claims at the time, all charges relating to any spy ring in Stormont have been dropped because there never was any evidence there to begin with. We had similar claims from Hugh Orde and the PSNI about the break-in at Castlereagh, yet not one scrap of evidence has been produced by Hugh Orde or anyone else to back up their outlandish claims.
Gerry Casey,
Co Sligo

* Sir - It seems that Michael McDowell, Hugh Orde and Bertie Ahern have been struck with omnipotent powers. These powers include the ability to convict suspects by innuendo, hearsay and rumour. The use of evidence, hard or even circumstantial, is apparently no longer needed. Given this new approach to crime detection, can we now pin other crimes on the IRA and Sinn Fein?

Was Gerry Adams on the grassy knoll in 1963? Maybe Joe Cahill abducted Jimmy Hoffa? Our Justice Minister now convicts people over the airwaves. This is a dangerous road and one that will come back to haunt all politicians and policemen who jump on McDowell's bandwagon.
Gordon Kennedy,
Dublin 4


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