Wednesday, 2 February 2005
Northern Ireland Issues: Motion.
Tom Morrissey (Progressive Democrats)
It gives me great pleasure to second the motion on behalf of the Progressive Democrats. It is timely the motion comes before the House as we were proud to have the Taoiseach to the House shortly before Christmas for a good debate on Northern Ireland. However, it is hard to believe, ten years into the so-called peace process, that my party can list 14 points on this motion which could not be contradicted by any democrat on the island. It is hard to believe we are commending the Government for its insistence that the Provisional IRA give up all forms of paramilitarism and criminality. After ten years, we are still at home base.
I am no different from other Members who have recently debated with members of Sinn Féin. The debasement of English is the only way one could refer to the manner in which they treat that language, while they expect us to understand what they are saying. On the one hand, they expect to be brought in and they say they are democrats. On the other hand, the most basic form of democracy would be that one would respect the institutions of the State. Sinn Féin members cannot say they want to be democrats on this island while not understanding what a crime is. Murder by a bullet in the head is a crime. All decent democrats would believe that basic philosophy yet, when a crime is committed by these people they say it is not a crime because it was sanctioned at a lower level and, therefore, is okay.
In 2003 a party representative of the Progressive Democrats attended the Sinn Féin Ard-Fheis.