Sinn Féin picks Policing Board members

I see that Sinn Féin have announced who their representatives on the Policing Board will be once it has been re-constituted.

Sinn Féin Policing and Justice spokesperson Alex Maskey will be joined by Martina Anderson and North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay.

This is a very strong team and one which I have no doubt will hold the Police to account or as Gerry would say, put manners on them.

Alex is from Andersonstown in West Belfast and was the first Sinn Féin Councillor to be elected to Belfast City Council when he won a by-election in 1983. He was the first republican Mayor of Belfast in 2002 and was widely acclaimed for the inclusive approach he adopted in carrying out his role.

He has overcome two attempts on his life by Unionist death and is a senior negotiator for the party.

Martina is from the Bogside area of Derry. She has been involved with the Republican struggle for over 30 years. Having spent over 13 years in prisons in England and Ireland she was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Following last years Ard Fheis, at which the Party President Gerry Adams indicated a priority of developing an entirely new relationship with unionism Martina was appointed to the role of Sinn Féin's Director of Unionist Engagement.

Daithí is currently the Head of the Sinn Féin Council Grouping on Ballymoney Council and was recently elected to the Assembly. Daithí is the youngest Sinn Féin Councillor in the north and youngest member of the Assembly at 25 years of age.

I feel that this team has the right balance of seasoned Republican veterans and youthful Republican activists.

These are the people who are faced with the unenviable task of holding the peelers to account.

I wish them well

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