The Direct Rule Criminal Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, declined to call on police to seize loyalist weapons after a senior PSNI officer indicated that police know how to find arms dumps. Mr Goggins extraordinary evasion – he repeatedly called on the paramilitaries to hand the weapons in – did not go down well in many circles.
Mr Goggins remarks came after the outgoing Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan, currently in charge of intelligence, was reported as saying that police have intelligence in place to locate loyalist weapons. He later said that he had not been accurately reported. Was this the case or was the soon-to-retire top policeman hinting at political interference?
Mr Goggins also announced that cash for a republican neighbourhood justice scheme is likely to be approved — in spite of SDLP claims that the funding will be based on a flawed report.
One can only assume that Mr Goggins was distracted by the speculation about the Labour leadership and the Labour party’s problems in general.