THE SPEAKER AT the eighth annual Longford Lecture on December 2 is Sir Hugh Orde, until recently chief constable of the police service of Northern Ireland, and now president of ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers. Sir Hugh was one of the candidates to succeed Sir Ian Blair at the Metropolitan Police.
His role in Northern Ireland was notable as he was the first head of the new police service set up to replace the allegedly sectarian RUC after a report by Chris Patten. He served on the Stevens Inquiry which investigated allegations of collusion between the security forces and Loyalist terrorists.
He also spent time on the team that conducted clandestine investigations into the running of a specialist Army organisation and RUC Special Branch.
Before becoming chief constable in Northern Ireland in 2002 he took part in the investigation into bombings in London by a sociopath who targeted Asians, blacks and gay people. After a night on the investigation, he changed into jogging kit and ran the London Marathon. This will be his first public lecture as head of ACPO. His title is “War is Easy – Peace is the Difficult Prize: An Alternative Approach to Solving Unsolved Murders” and he will reflect on his experience of coping with a history of more than 30 years of sectarian conflicts, crime and murder in Northern Ireland in a way that brought the community together – a sort of peace and reconciliation process along the lines of South Africa.
He will then apply the lessons to the broader question of reconciliation in divided communities.
The lecture will start at 6.30pm on Wednesday December 2 in the assembly hall of Church House, Westminster, and the chairman is Jon Snow. The Frank Longford Charitable Trust was established in 2002 by friends, family and admirers of Lord Longford (1905-2001) to celebrate his achievements and to further the goals he pursued in the fields of social and prison reform.
The trust arranges an annual memorial lecture, awards the Longford prize and funds Longford scholarships to support young ex-prisoners who wish to continue their rehabilitation through higher education.
The first Longford Lecture was delivered in 2002 by Cherie Blair.