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Sharon ONeill of Ulster TV & a bunch of Fenians do not understand data as they slam the police in Northern Ireland

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 22 February 2019

Oh dear. The Police in Northern Ireland still hate Catholics 20 years after the post Good Friday Police Reforms. So implies ITV/UTV correspondent Sharon O'Neill in the tweet below, dutifully retweeted by Fenians across the six counties and beyond. But of course there are lies, damned lies and statistics used by innumerate journalists.

What Ms O'Neill misses is that Superintendent is a fairly senior rank and according to the Police Federation fewer than 10% of those with that rank are under 40 with c10% over 55.  Twenty years ago any Catholic joining what was, then, the RUC, would have been targetted for execution by the IRA and thus there were very few Catholics in the force. That is understandable, if regrettable.

Since the RUC became the PSNI in 2001 that started to change in terms of entry level admissions but it will, by definition, take well over twenty years for that changed religious mix at entry level to be reflected in the religious mix at Superintendant level.

Many of those enthusiastically retweeting the silly Ms O'Neill are folks who are active supporters of Sinn Fein/IRA. The reason the PSNI does not reflect the religous mix of Ulster among its senior ranks is not down to Orange bigotry, as Sharon implies, but down to the actions of Sinn Fein/IRA during the troubles.

I should make clear that the PSNI might still be a hotbed of Orange bigotry, I do not know. But the issue here is that Sharon has provided data which does not support that conclusion yet reaches it anyway.

No doubt Sharon will issue a clarification to explian her poor understanding of data and the erroneous conclusion reached as a result. Or maybe not. That is not what the MSM does.


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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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