Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement

Engagement with Justice for the Forgotten

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I will not take all the time in case my colleagues come in later and the Chair might be able to facilitate them. The British grand notion of a statute of limitations, which is an amnesty for murderers and criminals, be they state forces or paramilitaries, is totally unacceptable. That has been strongly reinforced by the Government here, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The clear message is that such an amnesty is not acceptable. It would shut down for ever any possible avenue to truth and justice for victims and their families. It is utterly deplorable that any government could entertain the idea of introducing such a mechanism to shut off all inquiries and avenues that might lead to truth and justice. We are all well aware that many of the heinous crimes we are talking about were committed almost half a century ago. In that context, it will never be easy to get truth and justice for the families. The idea, however, of ever shutting off entirely any possibility of reaching truth or justice is utterly deplorable and that is the message that we as an Oireachtas will continue to make very clear to the British Government and authorities.