Thursday, 7 March 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Under the programme for Government, on Northern Ireland, the Government commits to maintaining the needs of victims and survivors at the core of its approach. I heard the Tánaiste say today that he accepts that Karen Bradley made a mistake and he accepts her apology. I would like to point out that there has been a systemic campaign by the Tory Party to clear the way for these soldiers not being charged. Her statement that they are innocent and that they never committed a crime because they were following orders has to be utterly rejected, not as a mistake but as part of a campaign to whitewash the activities of the paratroopers in Derry and Ballymurphy. Both of those historic incidents are coming up for scrutiny in the near future. It is not good enough to have gone to dinner with Karen Bradley and to accept that what she said was a mistake. It cannot be a mistake. She put those words together very deliberately. I am asking the Tánaiste to do what he says he will do in the programme for Government and stick by the victims and survivors in Northern Ireland. I urge him to call in the British ambassador, as he did the Russian ambassador when there were suspicions over activities at that embassy, and insist that Karen Bradley resigns and that those remarks are not allowed to influence whether the soldiers who killed 13 people on Bloody Sunday and 11 people in Ballymurphy go to trial.