IN what other part of the United Kingdom than Northern Ireland would it be possible for a chief constable to identify those responsible for a major crime at a press conference without having made any arrests and without producing any evidence? The answer is nowhere, yet on Friday in Belfast Hugh Orde, Northern Ireland's chief constable, said he was satisfied that the IRA had carried out the audacious bank raid which netted 26.5 million pounds just before Christmas. Mr Orde would certainly have not made his statement unless he had previously consulted or informed the British and Irish governments. For many years those without first-hand knowledge of Northern Ireland have been bemused by the way in which politics and government are conducted there; Mr Orde's public finger-pointing at the IRA should convince all observers that things are done differently in Britain's troubled province.
Bank robbers and politics
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