‘Symbolic’ visit by PSNI Chief Constable to Crossmaglen

April 27, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

The visit by the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott, to Crossmaglen last Monday afternoon has been hailed as both symbolic and historic.

Mr Baggott is believed to be the first serving chief constable of the PSNI to embark on such a ‘meet and greet’ walkabout through the town’s streets and, in doing so, has added to the long and chequered history of policing in Crossmaglen.

His visit was described as a fact-finding mission and, according to him, his way of “saying thank you” to the people of Crossmaglen.

Amid a heightened security presence and flanked by senior police officers, Mr Baggott appeared relaxed and jovial as he strolled through the town centre, meeting and greeting several locals along the way.

The PSNI’s most senior officer had received an invitation to visit Crossmaglen by the town’s Fianna Fáil representative, Martin McAllister.

Although acknowledging this invitation, a police spokesperson said the purpose of Mr Baggott’s visit was primarily to ‘visit colleagues and thank them for their ongoing commitment and dedication.’

However, it was Mr McAllister who welcomed the Chief Constable to Crossmaglen and introduced him to a number of local business people during the visit.

A group of Fianna Fáil party representatives, led by Mr McAllister, then held a private meeting with Mr Baggott and senior PSNI officers in a nearby hotel.