MLA: ‘Dublin helped condemn Claudy’
DUP MLA Sydney Buchanan has accused ‘elements of the Dublin Government’ of helping to ‘condemn the people of Claudy and the Kingsmills workers to early graves.’
He made the statement at Stormont in support of a motion tabled by his East Londonderry colleague Gregory Campbell, which called on the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to issue an apology for the ‘role played by the Irish Government of the day in the emergence of the Provisional IRA.’
The Craigavon MLA told the Assembly: “The actions of elements of the Dublin Government assisted those who are guilty when it comes to the disappeared, most of whom are secretly buried in hidden graves in that large graveyard known as the border counties of the Irish Republic.
“The actions of elements of the Dublin Government helped to condemn the people of Claudy and the Kingsmills workers to early graves. It helped to set the La Mon House Hotel on fire and place bombs in the way of those who fled from Bloody Friday.
“Elements of the Southern Government actively assisted in the formation of the Provisional IRA, and Enda Kenny certainly has that to apologise for.”
Mr Buchanan referred to the Republic of Ireland’s record on the extradition of IRA suspects during the course of the Troubles.
He claimed that between 1973 and 1997, 113 extradition requests were made by the United Kingdom to the Republic on terrorist-related offences and that over that 25-year period, eight people, or seven per cent, were extradited.
“During the same period, 296 extradition requests were made by the United Kingdom to Dublin for non-terrorist-related offences. Of those, 124 people, approximately 42 per cent, were extradited,” he said.
The DUP MLA also told the Assembly: “Only last week, our Prime Minister issued a public apology that related to previous Governments. Indeed, even before that apology relating to the Hillsborough disaster, there was an apology for the actions of a Government several decades in the past, which related to Bloody Sunday.
“On the point of the United Kingdom Government apology for Bloody Sunday, one reason given by some political representatives who campaigned in support of that inquiry was that Governments should be judged against higher standards than illegal groups and must be the upholders of laws that they enact.
“That either applies to all Governments, Dublin included, or to only selected Governments, with Dublin let off the hook.”
Speaking in support of his own motion Mr Campbell referred to comments made by the late Kevin Boland, a former Fianna Fáil Minister who resigned from the Irish Government in 1970 when former Taoiseach Jack Lynch sacked Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney for allegedly running arms to the Provos.
Mr Boland was quoted in a TV documentary as stating that ten men from Londonderry were trained by the Irish Army in Donegal at the outbreak of the Troubles.
Mr Campbell told MLAs: “Kevin Boland was one of the co-accused and was a Government Minister between 1966 and 1970.
“He is quoted by Peter Taylor as saying: ‘Street fighting training was given in Donegal by the Irish army. Ten men from Derry’ - he obviously had a spelling problem, but anyway - ‘came and were given basic military street fighting training.’
“I would be interested to know who those 10 men were. I presume that they were prominent republicans from Londonderry. I can think of at least one, but we shall see who emerges from the undergrowth. To finish the quote: ‘this was done with the knowledge of the whole government.’”
Mr Campbell’s motion was passed with the support of his party colleagues, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) MLA Jim Allister.
The motion welcomed improved relations with the Republic of Ireland; the success Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 2011 and noted the apologies from the United Kingdom Government in relation to Bloody Sunday and Claudy.
It also noted with concern the recent evidence given to the Smithwick tribunal regarding a lack of support for the investigation of terrorist suspects.
The majority in the Assembly also believed that relations would improve further if the current Government of the Republic of Ireland were to address the role played by the Irish Government of the day in the emergence of the Provisional IRA and the roles of past Governments regarding the pursuit of terrorists; and called on the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland to issue an apology.
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Weather for Londonderry
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South west