Seanad debates

Thursday, 22 October 2015

10:30 am

Photo of Jim D'ArcyJim D'Arcy (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I support Senator Mullen and I attended his briefing earlier. I have a very close friend in the Middle East, a Lebanese Christian, who stood for President of Lebanon in 1989 and received 25% of the vote. Christians are being persecuted, particularly in Iraq, as are Shi'ite Muslims, but because of the relatively small number of Christians in the area, they are being attacked in a particularly brutal manner. I would welcome the tabling a motion to debate that issue.

I again call on the Minister for Justice and Equality to come before the House to discuss the establishment of a special task force to deal with dissident criminality. I am loath to call these people "dissidents". They are criminals masquerading as some type of weird republicans; in no way are they republicans. The Sinn Féin leader, Deputy Gerry Adams, has said that Sinn Féin members have paid a price for standing with the police. I say "Welcome to the club", because for 30 years the people of Louth and other areas who stood with the police were subjected to intimidation at times. Nevertheless, I welcome anything Sinn Féin can do to support this new task force. Following the sad funeral of Garda Tony Golden, I spoke with Ms Nóirín O'Sullivan, the Garda Commissioner, and with her senior people at the club rooms of Geraldines GFC in Haggardstown. I have every confidence in the Garda and we should not be prescriptive as to how that special task force is to be set up and operated because that is an operational matter.


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