Sinn Fein historic police move

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The Independent Online

Sinn Fein tonight edged closer to an historic acceptance of policing in Northern Ireland by calling for a special party conference on the issue in January.

Party president Gerry Adams got the support for the move from Sinn Fein's 56 member national executive after a marathon six hour talk session in Dublin.

The decision follows intensive negotiations over Christmas between Republican leaders and the British Government, but the response of the Democratic Unionist Party will be crucial to restoring a power sharing administration in Northern Ireland.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "This statement is significant because of the unequivocal support that Sinn Fein says it will offer - if this motion is passed at the Ard Fheis - to not just the police but also to those in communities who report crimes to the police.

"For the first time there is the real prospect of all parties and all sections of the community in Northern Ireland supporting the rule of law in Northern Ireland."