Dáil debates

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Northern Ireland Issues

4:00 pm

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)

I welcome the Minister for Justice and Equality. I wish to commend the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains on the work it has been doing. It has had a number of specific successes but a total of seven bodies have not been found. These are the bodies of people who were callously murdered by different paramilitary organisations.

I wish to outline the reason why I raise this matter. Time is running out for many of the families which have an expectation of locating the remains of their loved ones. It is my intention to create an awareness of this issue and to send out a strong message to those who are in possession of information or who have access to such information. These individuals they should search their consciences in the context of deciding whether they should make this information available.

I want to place this matter in context. I live on the coast of Donegal and a large number of people in my constituency are involved in the fishing industry. During my lifetime, many individuals involved in that industry have tragically been lost at sea. The consolation to people who live in fishing communities comes when the body of someone who has been lost is recovered. That is a powerful consolation. I recall attending a wake on one occasion at which a grandmother repeatedly stated "At least we found the body, there is consolation in that". The position is no different for those who ten, 20, 30 or 40 years ago lost loved ones as a result of the Troubles. They know that their sons' or daughters' bodies are buried in the ground somewhere but they are not aware of the specific location. However, they do not know whether they will ever find their loved ones during their own lifetimes. In that context, I call on those with information to consult their consciences in respect of this matter and to take action in order to ensure that the people who have been trying to locate the bodies to which I refer will have some peace.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.