Thursday, 11 July 2019
Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages
On moving the amendment last night, Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan made a number of valid points about the lack of co-operation Ireland has received from the United Kingdom, UK, in respect of the public investigations the State has carried out into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. In particular, the inquiry conducted by Mr. Justice Barron and, to a lesser extent, the investigation conducted by Mr. Patrick McEntee SC, did not get the information sought from the authorities in the United Kingdom. It is a legitimate criticism we can make in the House that the UK has not provided relevant information which goes to serious allegations, namely that there was collusion in the bombings on the part of British authorities. While I accept fully the validity of the points Deputy O'Sullivan made, we should not agree to make ourselves uncooperative simply because the British state has been uncooperative.
The Minister for Justice and Equality stated yesterday that the immediate purpose of the legislation related to the ongoing inquest into the Kingsmill massacre. I do not know whether An Garda Síochána has any information that may facilitate the historical investigation into that outrage but if it does, we should provide it irrespective of whether there is reciprocity in the investigation and inquiries in respect of documentation and information held by the United Kingdom. I understand the point Deputy O'Sullivan sought to make. She wishes to include in the Bill an arrangement that would generally exist in regard to extradition whereby there would have to be reciprocity between two countries. However, the fact that the United Kingdom has failed in its duty to provide information and documentation to Ireland in respect of the heinous bombings in Dublin and Monaghan should not make the State adopt those same low standards. We should provide co-operation in respect of outrages irrespective of whether there is reciprocity. Nevertheless, the Government should continue its campaign and urging of the British Government to provide us with relevant documentation and information in respect of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. As such, while I recognise the validity of the point Deputy O'Sullivan makes, I will not support the amendment.