DUP opposes return to 50:50 PSNI recruitment call from Catholic Archbishop Eamon Martin

The DUP has rejected calls by the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland for the return of 50:50 PSNI recruitment, saying it would discriminate against non-Catholics.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 16th December 2019, 4:22 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 6:44 pm
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop Eamon Martin

The party was speaking after Archbishop Eamon Martin called for a return to 50% Catholic and 50% Protestant or ‘other’ recruitment. At present some 32% of the PSNI is Catholic.

Speaking to the Irish Catholic, Archbishop Martin said that Lord Patten’s report on the PSNI had a target of a force that is representative of the population. “It’s almost 20% short of the percentage of young Catholics who are out there” he said.

DUP Policing Board Group Leader Mervyn Storey said the real problem was terrorist attacks on Catholic recruits.

“50:50 recruitment discriminates against people who are not Catholic and we could not support that approach,” he said. “A better way forward would be for republican leadership to embrace the PSNI as a career by attending the graduation ceremonies of PSNI recruits.”

“There should also be a comprehensive engagement strategy with the Roman Catholic community in recruitment drives. There also needs to be targeted work in the Catholic maintained schools. Young people need to be educated about a career in the police.” Chief Constable Simon Byrne said he wants to recruit more Catholics but politicians would have to decide on ‘50:50’.