Written answers

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Northern Ireland

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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54. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has written to or spoken with his UK counterpart regarding a possible amnesty for the 200 soldiers and police officers being investigated for alleged criminal actions during the troubles; and if the Northern Ireland office has reached a conclusion following its deliberations on same. [47449/19]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I have engaged extensively with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and with the leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland to seek the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement legacy framework.

The Government’s position is clear: there should be effective investigations into all Troubles-related deaths, regardless of the perpetrator.

That is provided for in the legacy framework of the Stormont House Agreement and it is imperative that this be implemented.

The Government closely monitors all relevant developments in the British Parliament relating to the investigation of outstanding cases in Northern Ireland.

We have been clear that we would not support a proposal to introduce special measures or treatment regarding investigation of state or non-state actors.

The rule of law applies equally to everyone and must be upheld, and this principle is at the core of the Stormont House framework.

There are no amnesties from prosecution provided for in the Good Friday Agreement or any subsequent agreements. The public consultation led by the UK Government in Northern Ireland last year confirmed that a “clear majority” in Northern Ireland believe that a Statute of Limitations or amnesty would not be appropriate for Troubles-related matters.

The Taoiseach and I will continue to engage with the new British Government on this most important issue to secure implementation of the comprehensive framework of the Stormont House Agreement to deal with the legacy of the past in a way that meets the legitimate needs and expectations of all victims and survivors.


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