Seanad debates

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Northern Ireland

10:00 am

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Since the publication of the Bill, the Government has raised this issue at every possible forum, including the United Nations and Council of Europe, and at political and official level. The Act will damage reconciliation. It represents a unilateral and unnecessary departure by the UK Government from the agreed process for dealing with legacy issues in the Stormont House Agreement.

The initiation of an interstate case against the United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the UK's legacy Act would be a very significant step and not one that would be taken lightly. However, the Government has sought legal advice on this matter. While I do not have an exact date, that advice will be received in the near future. When it is received the Government will consider what subsequent action should be taken at that stage. It is a matter of deep regret that this is the space in which we find ourselves.


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