Written answers

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Northern Ireland

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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74. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised the findings of the report of the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland into Operation Greenwich, which confirmed British state collusion in 19 loyalist killings and two attempted murders carried out by the UDA with the British Government; the nature of discussions; and the outcome of same. [3539/22]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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We are studying carefully this significant report published by the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland into Operation Greenwich, concerning the RUC's handling of paramilitary attacks by the UDA/UFF between 1989 and 1993, which resulted in 19 murders and multiple attempted murders.

Within this report, the Ombudsman has identified collusive behaviours and raised significant concerns about police conduct. Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones in these attacks, and with the victims and survivors of these events. The publication of this report was undoubtedly an important and emotional moment.

I am also aware of a scheduled Dáil debate on the publication of this report due to take place in early February, which will provide an opportunity to discuss both this report and legacy developments.

All families deserve access to information and a process of justice for their loved ones, regardless of the perpetrator. It is vital that we put in place a comprehensive and agreed framework, as we set out in the Stormont House Agreement, to deal with the painful legacy of our past. Victims and families have been waiting for too long. We will continue to work for the implementation of such a framework, in order to support wider societal reconciliation, build greater community confidence in policing and meet the legitimate needs of victims and survivors in Northern Ireland and across the island of Ireland.

The Government has consistently engaged with the British Government at all leveles to caution strongly against unilateral action in this area. Only a collective approach, that meets the needs of families and upholds our shared human rights obligations, can be the way forward on this most sensitive of issues.


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