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Thursday, September 9, 1999 Published at 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK


UK: Northern Ireland

Quote, Unquote - reaction at-a-glance


Pattern Report
The Patten report on the future of the RUC sparked a wave of comment from politicians, police and the people. BBC News Online pulls together the key quotes of the day.

Chris Patten: "Policing in Northern Ireland has suffered, often with disastrous consequences, from being a political issue, and an issue about the state itself.

"I believe that it is possible to find a policing solution to the policing problem but only if you take the politics out of policing."

And he said: "If this is not the way forward, I simply do not know what is."

 Watch Chris Patten.

David Trimble, Ulster Unionist Party leader and First Minister: "We are deeply offended at the gratuitous insult to the community with regard to the name, the flag and the badge."

 Listen to David Trimble.

RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan, admits proposals like the name change would hurt officers and families: "If that hurt brings about the true, new beginning that Patten envisages then perhaps the pain has to be endured by us."

SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon calls for swift implementation of the recommendations: "This is not about sectionalised interests. This is not about unionist policing or nationalist policing, it's about policing for all the people in the North of Ireland."

 Listen to Seamus Mallon.

Sinn Fein policing spokeswoman Bairbre de Brun: "The people should take time and ensure that it's not the RUC in new clothing. Nobody wants to see a repackaged version of what was there before."

 Listen to Bairbre de Brun.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair: "This is a good and thorough piece of work. Sensibly implemented, it can help us build the Northern Ireland we all want to see, free from the violence and hatred of the past, a Northern Ireland the children there are proud to inherit."

 Listen to Tony Blair.

Ireland Foreign Minister David Andrews: "I would have thought that the recommendations in the context of the human rights element - new oaths, a code of ethics, policing in the community, a police ombudsman, the abandonment of plastic bullets - right across the broad canvass of the report itself strikes a balance."

Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam: "We will always respect the courage, dedication and professionalism people in the RUC bring to the job - and will continue to do so.

"We will need that commitment just as much in the future as in the past."

She added: "This is the chance for a new beginning to set the standard for policing in the new millennium."

 Listen to Mo Mowlam.

Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Peter Robinson: "What kind of a peace process is it that sees the terrorist organisations remaining unchanged while the law enforcement agency is effectively disbanded?"





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