Death of Gardaí: Expression of Sympathy .

: I have already strongly condemned on my own behalf and on behalf of the Government the cowardly and brutal murder of Garda Quaid. The Members of the House will, I know, wish to join with me in condemning this foul deed and also in extending deepest and heartfelt sympathy to Garda Quaid's widow and family in their tragic loss.

As the Dáil has not met since the appalling killings of Gardaí Morley and Byrne of Ballaghadereen in July last, it is fitting that on this sad occasion we should also extend our most sincere sympathy to the widows and young families of both gardaí who have been so tragically bereaved.

In the highest traditions of the Garda Síochána Gardaí Quaid, Morley and Byrne have sacrificed their lives to uphold the law. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha inte. I would ask you, a Cheann Comhairle, to convey to the widows and families of the late gardaí our sincere condolences. We must never forget that in carrying out their duty the Garda are working for every individual in the community and for our democratic institutions. The dangers they run in serving the people in this way and the measure of the debt we owe them are exemplified by the circumstances in which Gardaí Morley, Byrne and Quaid so tragically lost their lives.

I wish to announce, for the information of the Dáil, that the House will not meet tomorrow until 4 p.m. to enable Members of the Government and other Deputies to attend the funeral of Garda Séamus Quaid.

: On behalf of my party and personally I wish to join with the Taoiseach in asking the Dáil to extend its sympathy to the family of Detective Garda Séamus Quaid as well as to the families of Detective Garda Seán Morley and Garda Henry Byrne who lost their lives in similar tragic circumstances since the Dáil was last in session. Our sympathy should also go to their fellow officers, for each of these three men lost their lives on duty, a duty which they and their companions today have performed so well since the foundation of the State.

Seven members of the Garda Síochána have lost their lives in the last decade at the hands of subversives who repudiate our State, our courts, our Parliament and Government and the forces of law and order. It goes without saying that we in Fine Gael will, as we have always done, do all in our power to educate public opinion. If there is anyone in this country who may be inclined to provide refuge to those guilty of such murders they will realise that these crimes are crimes against themselves and against all the people of Ireland. The sense of public outrage so evident since these murders took place shows how little tolerance there is amongst our people for such crimes. The depth of feeling in the country is great. The feeling is that this must not be allowed to happen again. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice can be sure that my party will support any legitimate measures they wish to introduce to ensure that this will not happen again. Those who are engaged in a conspiracy against the peace of the whole island will be resisted, and resisted by the whole Irish people. The parents, widows and children of the murdered gardaí have the consolation—small though it is, but it is a consolation—that these men died bravely for their country. But the personal bravery of the members of our police force must not be expended again. Those guilty of such crimes must be exposed and we in Fine Gael and all the Members of this House will ensure that they are resisted.

: On behalf of the Labour Party and on my own behalf I would like to convey our sincere sympathy to the families of the three gardaí who have been brutally murdered since the Houses last sat. It is impossible to express in words feeling for the wives and children of gardaí who have been killed in the exercise of their duty. One can only hope that every individual in this State realises that the Garda are now our primary defence against subversives and that over the long years since the foundation of the State they have been in the front line in defending the institutions of this State against gunmen who apparently have no compunction whatsoever about taking people's lives. The murder of Garda Quaid was particularly brutal and savage, but one wonders just how effective words are now against these men who unfortunately are prepared to take human life. One can only hope that the public fully realise the service which the Garda Síochána are rendering to our State and our people. My party would be anxious that effective legitimate measures would be taken to ensure that we do nor find ourselves once again in a position of having to get up in this House and express our sympathy to the widows and children of gardaí who have been so gallantly defending the institutions of this State.

Members rose in their places.