Seanad debates

Thursday, 14 March 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Mark DalyMark Daly (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I support my colleagues on the taking of the fisheries Bill. It needs to be done correctly. While the delay is unbelievable, it does not mean we should rush without proper consideration.

On the news out of Derry this morning and the decision by the British establishment to make a scapegoat of one soldier, the order for what happened in Derry in 1972 went way up the chain of command. We know the then British Prime Minister was aware of British soldiers going around in civilian cars and civilian clothes shooting nationalists randomly. We know that went all the way to the top. In a memo uncovered by the Pat Finucane Centre, it stated when they were disbanding that unit, in future it should operate within the law. That was an acknowledgement that what they were doing was outside the law.

What has happened in Derry now has re-traumatised the city and the families. A statement from the UK defence Minister this morning said the soldiers acted with courage and they were defending and peacemakers in Northern Ireland. We know people were murdered. Joan Connolly in Ballymurphy was shot three times in the face at point blank range but nobody was prosecuted for her murder. The British establishment does not care. It will certainly make every effort to ensure nobody is prosecuted for her murder.

Although the Taoiseach is in Washington, he needs to make a clear statement on this. This is British injustice at its finest. Families are again denied the right to see the people who murdered their loved ones face justice. Just because one is in a uniform, does not mean one is immune from the laws of the land. One should not be in any way immune from prosecution. Apparently, because one is in a British Army uniform, one can kill and murder anyone one wants and will not face justice. Our Government needs to take a stand on this. The Taoiseach should make a statement today that this will not be tolerated and has to be taken further by the Irish Government.


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