G8 – Keep a Tight Rein On Police UK Government Told


Given concerns about police violence and the use of police `agent provocateurs’ in the context of international conferences such as the G20 and G8 the Celtic League has warned the United Kingdom government that `the world will be watching’ how police behave at the G8 in Fermanagh later this month.

N. Ireland Minister, Theresa Villiers, has been told that despite devolved policing powers ultimately the Westminster government will be held accountable for any mistreatment of protesters.

“The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Theresa Villiers MP
Stormont House
Northern Ireland


Dear Secretary of State,

I write with reference to the forthcoming G8 conference to be held in N. Ireland later this month.

At its annual meeting last year the Celtic League adopted the following resolution:

“This AGM

a) Recalling the recent controversy surrounding the policing of the London G20 conference and also the controversy surrounding the use of police agent provocateur infiltration of UK environmental groups,
b) Mindful of the adoption by the Council of Europe of – Recommendation 2001 (10) – and correspondence between the League and the (COE) Secretary General of the Directorate General of Human Rights in 2004,
Calls on the Council of Europe and its relevant human rights bodies to take steps to regulate and make publicly accountable `Special Police’ units with particular reference to nations under current control of member states of Council of Europe, to wit Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Brittany and the Basque regions of Spain and France.”

I trust that in relation to the forthcoming conference the conduct of police generally and `special police’ in particular, in terms of both intelligence gathering and operationally, will be properly regulated.

I appreciate that policing is a devolved function in N. Ireland and you may therefore wish to pass this correspondence on the relevant devolved agencies.

However I am sure I do not need to remind you that in terms of International law and good government the Westminster government, on whose behalf you reside in N. Ireland, has the ultimate authority and in any case I would be sceptical if (for example) some of the `police’ intelligence gathering in N. Ireland has been totally `devolved’.

I trust therefore that Her Majesty’s Government will ensure that police conduct is properly regulated and that peaceful protesters are not subjected to restriction, provocation or violence.

After all, the world will be watching!

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League”

Related item on CL News here:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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