Tuesday, 8 March 2005
Northern Ireland Issues.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
I am incredulous that these matters were not addressed. Does the Minister recall that the Taoiseach said he raised with the British Government the bugging of the Sinn Féin office at Connolly House and that he limply told the British that it was unhelpful, but that the British authorities did not admit to it at the time? Is the Minister aware that a representative of MI5 admitted to a British House of Commons committee that it had planted the listening devices at the Sinn Féin offices? As I stated, the Taoiseach said the bugging was unhelpful. What response has been received from the British to the issue? Will the Minister note that this took place against the backdrop of the institutions being brought down by the British Government on the back of unproven allegations of republican espionage at Stormont? Does this not, therefore, require a more serious approach by both the Taoiseach and the Minister to this very serious matter, especially taken in conjunction with the British refusal to co-operate with the inquiries of Mr. Justice Barron? I am very disappointed the Minister has not regarded this and the second matter as meritorious of readdress with the British, given that we have received no satisfactory response.
Is the Minister aware of the great hurt and concern caused within the wider Derry community and much further afield by the jailing of the Derry man, Martin Doherty, given that Martin Doherty is the only person ever jailed in connection with the events surrounding the British army killing of 14 people on Bloody Sunday in 1972? Is the Minister aware that Martin Doherty was not in Derry on that day?