Tuesday 16 July 2019

Outgoing PSNI chief constable meets Irish president in Dublin

George Hamilton is retiring at the end of the month.

By Cate McCurry, Press Association

The outgoing police chief of Northern Ireland has visited Irish President Michael D Higgins at his official residence in Dublin.

Retiring chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland George Hamilton, who was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this month, was greeted by Mr Higgins at the Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Thursday.

Sir George announced on social media in January that he is to leave his post at the end of this month.

Following his meeting with President Higgins, Sir George posted on Twitter: “Honoured to spend the morning with President Michael D Higgins in Aras an Uachtarain.

“A privilege to both listen and learn from his wise words on various issues.

“A sincere thank you to and his team for their hospitality.”

A spokesman for Mr Higgins said: “President Higgins hosted a courtesy call with the chief constable of the PSNI.”

Meanwhile, the DUP’s Mervyn Storey said his party remains opposed to the introduction of any Troubles amnesty after Mr Hamilton said “he could live with” an amnesty to deal with Northern Ireland’s past.

The BBC also reported that Mr Hamilton said that special cases should not be made to protect soldiers.

Reacting to his comments, Mr Storey said: “The DUP has consistently and clearly opposed the rewriting of our past and attempts to introduce an amnesty for terrorist organisations. This remains our unambiguous position.

“We have always fought to ensure that those who lost loved ones continue to have a right and route to justice. It is clear that the current structures are failing innocent victims. This needs to change.

“The fact remains that 90% of deaths were perpetrated by terrorists.

It is also vital that perceptions of witch-hunts against veterans who bravely defended the community in Northern Ireland are properly addressed.

“Soldiers and police served professionally in very challenging circumstances and there is justifiable frustration at a grassroots level at the disproportionate focus on the actions of the state.”

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section