Private Members' Business. - Northern Ireland Supergrass Trials: Motion (Resumed).

The following motion was moved by Deputy O'Hanlon on Tuesday, 4 December 1984:
"That Dáil Éireann condemns the system of Supergrass trials in the North of Ireland whereby persons are convicted of serious crimes, mainly on the uncorroborated evidence of informers as being totally alien to both Irish and British Court practice and contrary to the principles in accordance with which justice is administered throughout the democratic world, and calls on the British Government to terminate these trials and to institute an independent review of all such cases which have resulted in convictions."
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after "Dáil Éireann" and substitute the following:
"notes the damage which is being done to the legal and judicial system in Northern Ireland in the eyes of many in both sections of the community there by the regular reliance on uncorroborated accomplice evidence as a major feature of the prosecution system.".
—(Minister for Foreign Affairs.)

Deputy Bernard Allen has until 7.15 p.m.

The practice of using the uncorroborated evidence of accomplices in a systematic manner started in November 1981 when the informer, Christopher Black, was arrested and agreed to testify for the prosecution in the Six Counties. By March 1984 a total of 477 people had been charged for serious offences on the evidence of 26 police informers. In January 1984 there were over 200 persons in custody awaiting 13 trials in scheduled cases in which it was intended to hear accomplice evidence.

The system of supergrass trials is unique. It allows uncorroborated evidence to be used involving no jury, and one judge only. Previous speakers outlined details of specific cases. This system means that the courts in Northern Ireland are being used as a political weapon where inducements and payments are being made to informers who, more often than not, are dangerous criminals themselves and whose evidence has been contradicted many times over but is still accepted by the one judge involved. We would all agree that it is a very doubtful system of justice, to say the least. It is undermining the credibility of the whole judicial system. The operation of the supergrass trial system has been condemned by almost everybody in Northern Ireland.

The SDLP passed a motion in January 1984 condemning the use of supergrasses at their Annual Delegate Conference. The DUP are also firmly opposed to supergrass trials. Various other groups have expressed concern, including the British Liberal Party and the British Labour Party. The Church of Ireland and the Catholic Bishops of Derry, in a joint statement, expressed concern at the effect of the supergrass phenomenon on respect for the legal system in the North. The Association Against Legal Injustice stated that the Secretary of State was presiding over the destruction of legal justice in the North of Ireland. I must reecho that sentiment here this evening. The supergrass system is causing the destruction and elimination of respect for the legal system in the North. That has come on the heels of the total destruction of respect for the security forces and for the forces of law and order there. In fact there is so much animosity even on the Unionist side on the operation of the supergrass trials that riots that occurred this summer in Belfast came about because of the Budgey Allen trials.

The British view is that the use of supergrasses has lead to the successful conviction of known subversives. Having spoken to a large number concerned with this matter, my view is that a lot of innocent people have also been convicted. This to most Members of this House is totally unacceptable.

The practice of holding persons on remand for long periods of up to three years gives substance to the charges from Nationalists that supergrass trials are internment under another name. The Presbyterian Church has expressed concern at the length of time accused persons are spending in custody. Classical examples are the cases of two Belfast men, Thomas Power and Gerard Steenson, who served 33 months in Crumlin Road Jail on the basis of allegations made by five successive supergrasses — allegations that were either subsequently withdrawn or were dismissed as unreliable by a judge.

The injustice of the supergrass trials has been well documented. At this stage we should concern ourself with what can be done to eliminate this reprehensible practice in the Six Counties.

A group from the Concerned Community Organisations in Belfast, called the Delegation Against Legal Injustice, came to Dublin recently to meet TDs. and Senators from all parties. Last night Deputy Liam Fitzgerald expressed regret in this House, that the Dáil could not have a united voice in dealing with this motion. Unfortunately, I must say that the division of opinion came about at a much earlier date. When the Delegation Against Legal Injustice came to Dublin for an all-party meeting it was the Fianna Fáil party who split from the group and changed the arrangements that had been made so that as a result an all-party meeting could not take place.

For the record, there was no arrangement made. We were told.

When we met the delegation from Belfast we expressed regret that we were not in a position to meet them as an all-party group. We expressed the hope that the matter would not become a vehicle for political advantage in the Dáil. I am not suggesting that it has. But what I am saying is that far more effective action could have been taken on this issue by a united all-party approach. Since that meeting our colleagues on the other side of the House chose to table a motion here. As a result of our meeting with the delegation that evening some of us met the Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs requesting that this very serious practice be taken up with the British Prime Minister at the earliest possible opportunity. I have no reason to think that this has not happened.

As I stated earlier, the principle of being innocent until proven guilty has been abandoned in the North. The detention period leading up to supergrass trials is a substitute for internment. People have had their lives ruined even though they have never been convicted because of this abominable system operating in Northern Ireland. We all saw examples and met people who suffered because of the system when we met that delegation from the North recently. Unfortunately some people find, having been unjustly detained, that they lose their jobs and then have no recourse to compensation. The victims of this supergrass system must be listened to. Something must be done on their behalf at some international forum. I would ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs, through his representatives here this evening, to investigate the cases of people who have been the victims of this terrible system, who have been found to be innocent but, because of the length of time they were detained, suffered materially and in their private family lives. This is totally unjust and the matter must be investigated further. Such victims must be compensated in some way for the travesty of justice that is taking place.

Alienation of the minority community still exists in the Six Counties irrespective of any pious comments made on the part of British politicians and some Northern politicians. The discrimination against the minority continues in the area of jobs, as is evidenced even today in Queen's University, Belfast, where only a tiny percentage of the administrative staff are from the Catholic side. It is a bad sign if it is happening in a place like Queen's University, Belfast, which is supposed to be a seat of learning and knowledge.

I regret that the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. James Prior, supported a policy of discrimination. Evidence of this is the treatment handed out to three young people from the Six Counties who applied for jobs with the Northern Ireland Electricity Supply Board and were discriminated against in an obvious way. When pinned down on the issue Mr. Prior got them out of a difficult situation by classifying the young lads as security risks. That type of treatment must not be tolerated and must be taken up at senior level by our Government.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs must be very firm with the British and must insist that the system of supergrass trials in Northern Ireland be reappraised and that the normal standards of justice apply equally to Northern Ireland as to Britain. It is no wonder that the campaign of the Provisional IRA can be so successful when supergrass trials are allowed to continue and there is still discrimination in relation to jobs. A typical example of the way the Nationalist community are treated is to be found in an area of west Belfast where a street with 33 houses has only one house remaining where there has been no arrest to date of an adult male. The people we term as moderate are being isolated and driven into extreme situations because of the continuing travesty of justice. Therefore we must ensure that the supergrass system is immediately reappraised, and the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs must be very firm with Britain in this matter in coming weeks.

The last words of Deputy Allen about being firm with Britain are obviously true and the only way to be firm with Britain in a matter of this kind, which is of concern to Britain and all parts of Ireland, is to pass a motion in the terms which we have put down. This motion was deliberately framed on the basis that it would command all party support in this House because the logic of what Deputy Allen has just said and of what the Minister for Foreign Affairs said last night leads one to the direct conclusion that the terms of our motion are the correct terms. The motion states:

"That Dáil Éireann condemns the system of Supergrass trials in the North of Ireland whereby persons are convicted of serious crimes, mainly on the uncorroborated evidence of informers as being totally alien to both Irish and British Court practice and contrary to the principles in accordance with which justice is administered throughout the democratic world, and calls on the British Government to terminate these trials and to institute an independent review of all such cases which have resulted in convictions."

That is the logic directly flowing from what Deputy Allen has just said and from what the Minister for Foreign Affairs said last night, which is totally at variance with the terms of the Government amendment which merely "notes the damage which is being done to the legal and judicial system in Northern Ireland..." and also refers to "regular reliance on uncorroborated accomplice evidence ...". I was glad to hear Deputy Allen use the phrase "supergrass" regularly during his contribution, as I was also glad to hear the Minister use language which should have led both of them and the whole Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and The Workers' Party to support our motion, which expresses in essence the spirit of the views put forward in the House by members of other parties. We cannot understand in the national sense the logic of putting down an amendment diminishing our motion, which epitomises the views put forward by everybody who has spoken. That is why we are not accepting this amendment and will be voting for our original motion which condemns the use of the supergrass system and calls for its termination by the British Government.

The views put forward by the Minister for Foreign Affairs last night sustain fully the terms of our motion. He spoke about the outrageous procedure whereby the number of persons in one trial exceeds 30. There are three specific cases where this is so and in respect of which one informer is wheeled in to deal with these people. That deserves condemnation, not just "taking note of". There must be immediate termination of this legal practice. These three cases involving 30 persons in each one are all resting on the evidence of one informer in each case. Then we have the proposed amendment which would merely take note of that procedure.

There is no point in hiding behind the legalistic argument that accomplice evidence is admissible in courts here and in Britain. Such evidence is admissible only under very strict checks, balances and controls and the judge must give a warning to the jury. In the case of our courts where we have three judges dealing with cases under the Offences Against the State Act each judge acts as a check on the others. We have never descended to the degeneration, corruption and perversion of the courts as a systematic policy in the manner which is being adopted in Northern Ireland. The Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke about this aspect and said that the most serious feature is that these courts are being systematically organised, controlled, corrupted and perverted in respect of the police and the whole system of arrest, and in respect of detention and of the ultimate judicial hearing and sentencing. This degeneration deserves from this sovereign Parliament condemnation and a call for immediate termination. It does not justify a mealy-mouthed approach that merely takes note of the matter without making any recommendation. That is why the Government's amendment is totally unacceptable to us. In all honesty, it should be totally unacceptable to the other parties in the House whose Members in contributions have made the same points I have made. I have listened to Deputy Allen making them and, having read the speech of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I am aware that he made them. Those Deputies are not following up the logic of the points of view they appear to have adopted and expressed here.

One cannot have it both ways. There is no point in being ambivalent in this approach. I should like to give some advice to the Government. If there is one thing the British appreciate it is straight talking. The only way to deal with people like the British Prime Minister is to make it plain to her, to the British Government and British public opinion, precisely where we stand so that they are not under any illusion or misconception as to the Irish attitude and approach to this matter. The amendment proposed by the Government is unacceptable because it does not condemn the system or call for its termination. Instead it uses the ambivalent neutral parliamentary phrase, taking note of the matter. That is not good enough in this Parliament or when dealing with the British Prime Minister or the British Government. They understand and appreciate when we talk business and spell out our position. We got into enough trouble in recent weeks over ambivalence in the presentation of our position.

The Deputy mentioned straight talking but they only got four minutes last year.

The Taoiseach has been a disgrace to the nation in this regard. Irish people feel humiliated by reason of the fact that the Irish case was not made positively by him to the British Prime Minister on that occasion of the recent talks in Chequers. The amendment is a further example of that sort of thinking.

Mr. Allen rose.

Deputy Allen is anxious to raise a point of order.

If it is not a point of order Deputy Allen should sit down quickly.

I do not know what it is as yet.

We should attempt to treat this serious matter on a sensible basis.

That is not a point of order.

Sit down you little silly boy. The Chair should tell that silly boy to sit down.

The motion is being used in a blatant political manner. It is being used to gain political advantage by one party and that is a disgrace.

Deputy Allen should resume his seat.

The Deputy's party lacks conviction.

Our party are speaking for the nation and not as a party. We are speaking for Ireland's national interest.

The Deputy's party could not say much in four minutes last year.

It is in our national interest that the Irish case is presented positively.

Why is it that the Government parties do not condemn the supergrass system?

Our motion calls for condemnation of the supergrass system and for its termination. That has been watered down by a Government amendment that makes use of the parliamentary antidote or ambivalent approach of taking note of the matter. What Deputy Allen, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, have said should lead them to adopt our motion which is the only type of language that a British Government, and a British Prime Minister, understand. I am anxious to make it clear to Deputy Allen that I speak for Ireland on this matter and not for Fianna Fáil or any political party. If Government Members want to speak for Ireland we welcome them to join us and support our motion.

We speak for Ireland.

The Deputy's father would have and his relations also.

The Government side cannot court Maggie and live with conviction.

She gave the Opposition side only four minutes last year.

As the Minister for Foreign Affairs said last night there has been a systematic corruption of the legal and judicial systems. There have been numerous cases in recent years and more than 30 people were arraigned at one time on the basis of a bought informer's evidence. About 20 such informers have been involved in this process to date. On a more serious note this system leads to a corruption of democracy, something we are all anxious to see established on the island.

The elected parliament is an important aspect of democracy but an equally important element in democracy is the existence of free independent courts where the rule of law is respected by all the people in society. People of all persuasions, classes and categories should be able to go about their daily lives secure in the knowledge that they will be treated fairly within the law. That rule of law is basic to every democracy throughout the world. The perversion and corruption of the rule of law as exists in the supergrass system in the six north eastern counties, as we should now get down to describing them, the organised systematic arraigning of people and their conviction, is worse than anything that exists under the Soviet system or any right or left wing dictatorship.

At least in a dictatorship there is a certain honesty because everybody is aware of the system. However, we are referring to a system that purports to be democratic but is being deliberately corrupted, perverted and twisted round for the purpose of putting people, innocent or guilty, into jail. That is being done for the purpose of a hegemony, to continue depriving the people of this island of their overall political right to nationhood and ensuring that power and superiority is maintained in the six counties in the north-eastern part of Ireland. There is nothing worse than that. That is corruption upon corruption. The people there have no respect for the police, security forces or the courts. If one continues along that road one reaches a position where a whole area of the country will be corrupt by a drastic reduction in regard for the law, fair play and independent courts, which are essential for the continuation of civilised democratic existence in any society.

I appologise for interrupting the Deputy but I understand that in order to provide some time for Deputy Blaney, Deputies Lenihan and O'Kennedy are to conclude at 7.38 p.m., that Deputy Barnes will be curtailed to five minutes giving ten minutes to Deputy Blaney.

That is agreed. I am glad to agree to that arrangement because it is time certain people who speak for Ireland were heard in the House. Fine Gael and Labour have disgraced themselves by recent actions and, in particular, by their unwillingness to adopt our motion which seeks to condemn and terminate a system we all disagree with. If we embark on any diminution we are once again getting into an ambivalent position which the Taoiseach, unfortunately, got himself into to his own humiliation — I do not mind that — and the country's humiliation some ten days ago. We cannot afford that. If we are to present the Irish national case it is contained to the fullest extent in the Forum document. That document tells the British Government, the British Ambassador or anybody who wishes to speak on behalf of Britain precisely what the Irish case is. That is all that has to be done, and no more than that. That is all that was done by successive Irish leaders of all parties, and I include some Coalition leaders of the past who were as good in some ways as some of our leaders in this respect. But this Government have foundered badly in this area. This has led to a diminution in the standards of Irish national leadership which will never be forgotten.

As the main Opposition party, putting down this motion was our way of trying to secure a unity of national purpose among all people in the House but the Government's amendment represents a diminution of that purpose and the type of ambivalence which can lead us more and more into the kind of trouble the Taoiseach landed the country in in recent days.

Deputy O'Kennedy has until 7.38 p.m.

In supporting the case made by our Deputy Leader, I must say that the supergrass system is an abomination of anything known in the judicial legal system throughout the world. To say anything less of it would be to understate the case. Any lawyer in any jurisdiction will recognise that a system which promotes and encourages informers to come forward on the basis of either indemnity or financial reward for themselves is nothing more than an abomination.

We are not just asking this House for a condemnation or a termination of that system, we are asking the House to associate itself with others in the British parliament who have already taken that position. I want to mention in particular the British Liberal Party who condemned this system out of hand as being contrary to any of the principles of jurisprudence or the law. It is of vital importance that these facts be acknowledged here before we water down what is a motion to condemn and terminate a system which is an abomination.

Any Government who would tolerate within their jurisdiction a supergrass system as a characteristic of their main attack on any element of society in terms of prosecutions, show a contempt for each and every element in that society. Could we imagine for a moment that the British Government within that part of their jurisdiction from Lands End to John o'Groats would allow a system of this kind to operate, would allow the judicial function to be undermined and would create distrust between the Judiciary and the citizens? The Judiciary's main authority to penalise or to impose sanction in any country, whether it be in respect of normal criminal offences or any other procedures, derives from the fact that it also acts as a protection for the citizen against the establishment. But a Government which not only allows but encourages an abomination of this kind shows contempt for each and every person subjected to this awful system and those within that jurisdiction who can be affected by it.

Last night the Minister for Foreign Affairs in what can only be regarded as a very ambiguous approach to this question expressed concern — of course he did — and indicated the number of times he had expressed that concern to the British Government. He then went on to say that he wanted to promote solidarity among the nationalist community of this island, and suggested that we should not rock the boat. The only implication one can get from that was that the nationalist community, presumably including the SDLP, did not want to rock the boat. If the Minister is not aware of the fact that the SDLP totally and utterly condemn and repudiate and without any ambiguity called for the termination of this system, then he is not doing justice to the SDLP. Extracts from his statement suggest that this side of the House, in putting down this motion which is clear and unambiguous, was rocking the solidarity of the nationalist community of this island. This is an affront to the SDLP who made it very clear that they condemn, reject, repudiate and want to see this awful system terminated.

I have said the system is an abomination, but there is a risk that we can be tainted by association with this abomination. That is a worry even in terms of our own selfish interests in the Twenty-Six Counties because we have on occasions recently in particular extradited to that jurisdiction people who as yet — the McGlinchey case in particular — have not been tried although those found in the commission of the same offence in this jurisdiction engaging in firearms with the Garda, have been tried in our courts. By sending one gentleman to a jurisdiction where this kind of legal abomination not only exists but is acceptable to the British authorities, we have repudiated our fundamental obligations to our citizens, not just to the man on the charge. Our first obligation was to try him for a serious offence committed here. We are still waiting for evidence to be produced in the Northern court in respect of this case.

Are the Government not conscious of the fact that by playing footsie with the jurisdiction which tolerates such a legal abomination we run the risk of being tainted by association. By having midnight hearings of the Supreme Court where the Director of Public Prosecutions was not allowed to bring a prosecution here, we are treading a minefield even in our own jurisdiction.

The implications of this can be far-reaching for all. There is no case for any kind of noting the damage which is being done to the legal and judicial system in Northern Ireland. Are we not aware that for so long the legal and judicial system in Northern Ireland has not operated as a normal system for the protection of the citizen? Yet we are "noting the damage."

We are talking about fundamental principles. This is an abomination of any judicial or legal process and if we are not prepared to reject, condemn and call for its termination, we will damage our legal and judicial system which in recent times was prepared to transfer people to that jurisdiction rather than try them in our own jurisdiction where, up to now, we have some degree of respect for the judicial process and what it represents to our citizens.

Deputy Blaney has until 7.48 p.m.

It is refreshing to hear in this House from either side, reference to the trauma and the calamity that is happening in part of our country. I must congratulate the Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil for saying even at this belated stage that it is time we began talking about the six north-eastern counties rather than Northern Ireland, Ulster or such appendage as we have been hearing in our discussions, debates and Government documents. We will recall that the phrase "Six Counties" has been allowed to creep in in the last ten years. I remember when in Government that if such a phrase were used, it was rejected and corrected. We are making progress even if we had to go backwards to do so.

That there should be any need in this or any other democratically elected assembly for debate or disagreement on the condemnation of the supergrass system operated as it is in a corrupt regime in all its aspects — police, defence forces, courts, the Judiciary and so on. It is amazing to the outside world. To us it is just more of the Irishism that emerges in so far as our ambivalent dealings are concerned. These ambivalent dealings seem to change across the the House as the various parties change Government places. I say this very deliberately because we have egg on our faces. We are collaborating, not co-operating.

I believe in the fullest co-operation across the Border while we have it but I totally and utterly condemn, as I have always done, the kind of collaboration which we have been having for years. When we talk about the supergrass system, Diplock courts and non-jury trials one would think that we were innocent in this respect and that by implication or association we might be contaminated. We are long since contaminated. What about our Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act which the present Opposition fought tooth and nail when it was brought in by a previous Government? Then when they got into power they were the only party who used it, in the case of Gerry Tuite. Why was that Act not repealed when they had the opportunity to do so?

Why are they silent on the Criminal Justice Bill which they have been opposing? I asked if and when — and it looks as if it is not even if — they come into Government again are they prepared to repeal that to which they object today? If the answer is yes they would have some credibility and they would put some belief into our people whose whole outlook has been so bedevilled by the contradictions of various political spokesmen, particularly our leadership over the years, that they do not know whether they are coming or going. The result on polling day is apathy and the apolitical outlook of our younger generation is that the parties are all the same and they are not even coming out to vote.

The Deputy seems to be wandering from the motion.

I may well be but it is obvious to you as a Border Deputy as well as holding the elevated position of Ceann Comhairle and as a legal man that what I am saying is true.

It is evident that we are calling black ass to the pot. The kettle is calling black ass to the pot. I am all for doing that but not for behaving like the kettle and being just as black-assed as they are.

Is Deputy Blaney suggesting that we have a supergrass system here?

I agree with the sentiments expressed regarding the abomination described by Deputy O'Kennedy but has he forgotten that we have a special court where the opinion of a Garda officer is sufficient to convict without a jury or trial in the real sense of the word? That is why I am saying we are not seen to be honest in our approach and our condemnation by the outside world and particularly by the people in the six north-eastern counties.

I do not think anybody can refute the reasons for condemning the system which operates in the North. However, when we play footsie with it we naturally are collaborating and giving it recognition.

Extradition was mentioned. There should be no extradition to that corrupt regime because in doing so we are the laughing stock of the world. We are an inconsistent people who condemn the Border and spend money we have not got in maintaining it for Mrs. Thatcher. If we changed team captains we could win the match even when it had been lost in London.

I support the motion merely because it is stronger than the somewhat watered down amendment of the Government. I can understand why they watered it down. Usually when the Opposition puts down a popular motion, instead of carrying the original motion the Government wish to carry their version of it and therefore the wording is somewhat different. I will be voting for the motion, although not happily because we are practising what we condemn up there and by our association with it we are recognising the corrupt regime which we are condemning. That is an inconsistency which is destroying the convictions of our friends outside this country who could be helpful in their influence to try to bring this regime to a end. They look at us and say: "In the name of God, what are they talking about since they do something similar themselves they associate with these people and their system and then they expect us to listen to their condemnations of it in the European forum or further afield".

It is good to see this House taking note of these things but let us consider cleaning up our own house and then we can with every justification not only point the finger north-eastwards but also elaborate on it elsewhere and gather the support which is there to condemn this lack of justice, proper courts and proper evidence being adduced. When we have cleaned up our own house we will be much more effective than we are at present.

I should like to share my time with Deputy Skelly. Last night the Minister for Foreign Affairs said that we are not playing an ideological game with the lives and happiness of people. I hope that this debate will not play ideological games either. I am weary of banners, flag waving the greener than greens and people claiming to have a greater interest in or commitment to politics for party political purposes. Lives are savaged, killings go on, civil liberties are eroded, the ordinary courts of justice are removed because of the bitter sectarianism and killing which has gone on. Yet people feel they can walk around winding banners around themselves and claiming that they are greener than green as if that was the answer to the problem. I deplore the fact that people's civil liberties have been eroded which has led to both sides of the community, particularly the Nationalist people, who for a long time, perhaps never, had not any real trust or confidence in the police force in Northern Ireland——

The Deputy should use the word "condemn".

The Nationalist community had no trust or confidence in the army and the security forces. Then the last bastion — that people should have a right to redress — was taken from them. We now see a people who have no structures to support them. They cannot look to any institutions within their own state. We see the human suffering and the stress that has been caused. The criminal justice system as it has operated through the supergrass system cannot be relied on and cannot give confidence to the people there. It is a travesty of justice and it certainly cannot resolve the conflict which requires a political solution. Rather, it can lead dangerously to a further alienation of an already alienated community. It has added to the bitterness and to the discrimination that have built up during the years and it will take generations to remove.

It has led to men being imprisoned on the word of informers, people of very dubious nature. It has led to the point where 35 or 40 men can be lined up, where the person accusing them does not even have to face them, where they have no redress and very little appeal. The very element of justice is removed by the sheer numbers. What does this do to the outside community? It has left families bitter, bereft and betrayed. The younger generation are totally disillusioned and they have an absolute rejection of what should be their source of strength and protection within the community.

The long term consequences cannot be overemphasised. I appeal to all sides of the House tonight: for God's sake and for the sake of all of Ireland, let us work together in a totally supportive way to bring about enough pressure to remove the supergrass system. It has left the Nationalist community isolated, alienated and bitter and it has also affected many members of the other community. Above all, let us realise that screaming at one another here does not resolve the problem. Let all of us use this debate as constructively and positively as possible to bring this matter to the attention of those who govern Northern Ireland, the Six Counties, or whatever term one wishes to use. Above all, let us not forget the dehumanising process that is taking place while we who are safely in this House have an academic debate about it.

In his speech last night Deputy Liam Fitzgerald criticised the Minister for not mentioning that in the non-jury trials down here there are three judges.

In his speech the Minister made the following comment:

The absence of a jury, however, raises particular difficulties, especially when only one judge hears a trial, a jury being the most desirable safeguard when uncorroborated accomplice evidence is presented.

I do not excuse the supergrass trials. I do not believe it is just the thin end of the wedge: I think it is the last straw. I condemn strongly the use of the supergrass trials. Many sources have been referred to in the past two nights and many examples have been given. In his speech last night the Minister asked for a measured and responsible view from this House when considering this matter. I think that has been given by Lord Gifford in his report on supergrasses. In the chapter entitled "conclusions", Lord Gifford stated that the use of supergrass evidence can lead and has led to the telling of lies and to the conviction of the innocent. He said there was a further social harm, namely, the discrediting of the judicial institutions in the eyes of the community. He made the following comment:

One does not combat terrorism effectively by twisting the course of justice. I believe that the supergrass trials have already caused a dangerous anger and alienation among a broad section of both Protestant and Catholic populations.

Lord Gifford also recommended the reestablishment of trial by jury for all indictable offences in Northern Ireland. He said trial by jury should be restored, possibly with some arrangements to ensure the security and anonymity of jury members.

Lord Gifford also stated that the conviction of defendants by single judges is not an acceptable means of doing justice and that there should be no further granting of immunity from prosecution to those who have been repeatedly involved in serious terrorist crimes. He said that the uncorroborated evidence of a supergrass should not be accepted as a valid basis for convicting a defendant in a non-jury court and that even if there was some such evidence that was worthy of belief he said it is not right that a single fallible judge should be left to determine what it is. Lord Gifford recommended that prosecutions should not be authorised by the DPP where the only evidence to implicate the accused is that of a supergrass and, if necessary, the Attorney General should intervene to prevent prosecutions based on uncorroborated supergrass evidence.

As with Mr. Justice Murray in the McCormick case, Lord Gifford stated that when the evidence of a supergrass is uncorroborated they should hold that it is highly dangerous and wrong to convict. He said that in a Diplock court there must, as a matter of law, be corroboration of the evidence of an accomplice.

I think that is the reasoned response the Minister asked for in this debate. The question must be asked, once the erosion of civil liberities begins where will it end? I am an unapologetic opponent of sections of the Criminal Justice Bill that recently was passed by this House. There were questions with regard to removing the right to silence and inferences from remaining silent without the proper checks and balances. I admit that this form of trial is equivalent to internment without trial but this motion in the name of Fianna Fáil rings hollow when this conservative House was prepared to tolerate recently in the other Bill detention and removal of the right to silence and to place blind trust in police interrogation. How much credence can the people of Northern Ireland place in the concern of this House when little concern was shown for the innocent victims of the new powers in criminal justice legislation?

Did the Deputy vote for it?

I am very concerned and worried about a system that is much less severe than that obtaining in Northern Ireland but which nevertheless is barbaric in itself. Therefore, how could I even begin to contemplate toleration of that outrageous infringement of liberty and justice, of the sufferings of spouses, the terror of children and there were example of this in the Gerard Loughlin case mentioned in The Irish Times on 30 November? How could I ignore the frustration of decent people, the anger of innocent people and the justifiable rage of law-abiding citizens? During our recent debates on the criminal justice legislation the hit and miss system in our District Courts was accepted, where many defendants come along, one after the other——

I hope the Deputy will not concentrate entirely on the criminal justice legislation.

If justice is not being dispensed in the examples I gave, how can it be dispensed where there are multiple defendants at these trials? How can one man dispense justice fairly in such cases? The difference between our District Court and those cases is that life sentences are involved in the latter.

The suspension of democracy cannot be tolerated in any form, even if it only for a weekend during the visit of a person from abroad. The Minister called for the understanding of the Dáil but that was not meant as a defence of the system. I am sorry to see Fianna Fáil banging the drum and refusing to make it an all-party issue as they were invited to do. They are seeking to make their way back into power over the trials and sufferings of the people in Northern Ireland.

The Deputy can support our motion.

Deputy Skelly voted for it. He voted for everything he has condemned in his speech.

I call Deputy Michael O'Leary.

There was not a vote in it because Deputy Gallagher was not here for it.

Verbal ambivalence. The height of semantics.

It is important that the voice of the Dáil be heard at this time on this matter so that the UK government, which exercises sovereignty in Northern Ireland, should appreciate that this Parliament has no confidence in the administration of justice in Northern Ireland. It is a matter of regret that it is not a unanimous feeling or a unanimous resolution which is going from this House tonight.

The Deputy had the choice.

The fact of the matter is that a reading of this debate shows no disagreement really between the various contributions made by Deputies, irrespective of party, on this matter.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs was wise in his admonition that the debate should not lend support to the notion that the Northern Ireland legal system would be otherwise worthy of our approval if there were reform of the supergrass system. As he very wisely said, there is more wrong with the system than simply the supergrass element. That is only part of the disease, one defect in the system. The legal framework of the emergency criminal process is contained largely in the Northern Ireland Emergency Provisions Act of 1978 and the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1976. Their operation has been analysed by independent observers, Hillery and Boyd. In that analysis we can see part of the difficulty of alienation within Northern Ireland felt by so many. That analysis reveals a series of abuses in the administration of justice in Northern Ireland of which the supergrass system is only one.

The central error to which the abuses in the legal system of Northern Ireland owe their origin consists briefly in reliance by the authorities on the criminal process alone, backed by army and police to deal with violence which is essentially political in nature. The same abuses chronicled in the seventies by these observers I have mentioned, abuses in interrogation methods and in the courts, continue into the eighties. The authorities in Northern Ireland rely almost exclusively on the ordinary criminal process, as amended by emergency legislation, to deal with their problems of violence. They ignore essentially the political nature of their problems.

The use of the emergency arrest procedures means that an individual is dragged into the criminal process without his even knowing what offence he is supposed to have committed. Considerable pressure can be brought to bear on him to make a confession, not only by virtue of the length of periods for which he can be held. There is the oppressive interrogation itself and there are the practices permitted by these actual processes of the emergency legislation. The overall effect is to bring the whole criminal process into disrepute, not least among those sections of the population most affected.

In isolating this aspect of the abuses of legal process in Northern Ireland we should not overlook the fact that the paramilitaries wage a dirty war in Northern Ireland in which civilians are the victims and the only legacy of that dirty war of the paramilitaries will be a second partition — is, in fact, a second partition erected between Nationalists and Unionists within Northern Ireland. Emergency powers backed up by the army and police will not ameliorate the sickness in that society, nor can the courts on their own solve the fundamental alienation which divides that society. Nonetheless, the authorities continue to place their trust in security, and the courts and the legal process are depended upon to deal with the problems thrown up by the political divisions within Northern Ireland, the essential alientation that tears that community apart. Instead, amelioration of the Northern Ireland problem requires decisive intervention of the power claiming to exercise sovereignty within Northern Ireland, that is the United Kingdom under present circumstances.

Now, the use of supergrass evidence has meant in many cases that, despite the absence of corroboration, conviction has followed on the evidence of a person who in many instances is a convicted felon. Yet the courts in their findings have often given such witnesses the status of witnesses of credit, notwithstanding the warning that must always accompany the reception of evidence of such character. In fact, the courts appear to repose trust in the evidence of those with truly dreadful criminal records. Greater trust appears to be reposed in such witnesses than in the accused person against whom, in the normal rule, there must be a presumption of innocence that should apply until conviction. Greater trust appears to be reposed in people already convicted of the most heinous of offences.

It has been pointed out by those who examined it that such witnesses coming from the supergrass accomplice system have every incentive to co-operate with the prosecuting authorities. It may be and have been said that they have been given no money, although doubts remain in relation to that. Their early release prospects, their parole conditions must conduce them to co-operate with the prosecuting authorities. There is every incentive to co-operate, even at the expense of truth.

Although it may be denied there is more than a suspicion that payment of money and deals have been made. In regard to any conviction secured by such means and from such sources, suspicions must remain. After all, it has been a feature of the system that lifelong settlement arrangements, identity changes, resettlement of entire families have been arranged. The result has been that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom might not believe in the existence of alienation within Northern Ireland but it is a matter of strict experience that the results have been, that such abuses as we are discussing tonight, undermine that confidence in the administration of justice within Northern Ireland if any such confidence remains.

It has been said that the use of the supergrass system is justified in that it is an effective way of putting terrorists behind bars and of providing information for the security forces. In my view that is a shortsighted view of the matter and gives a very temporary advantage indeed to the authorities became these security priorities militate against the wider political imperative of ending the alienation that afflicts Northern Ireland in so far, at any rate as Nationalists are concerned, and from what one can gather it may be an affliction that the Loyalist population increasingly experience.

The reliance on emergency measures by the security forces and on these methods means that while one may obtain information and military advantage in the short term it constantly militates against the search for the necessary political solution. In any case, the evidence of alleged accomplice informers must be notoriously unreliable. Having said all that one may say against it, a doubt remains: how may one expect truth from sources such as these? Whatever the short term gain certainly these measures provide grounds for future violence — and what assistance they must give to paramilitaries of all kinds to be able to point to the courts participating in such practices.

If the suspicion cannot be banished that the security authorities may use blackmail and every personal and domestic reason to gain the information, what respect can be had for convictions made in such circumstances? It discredits further the entire system of justice among those affected.

There is a big temptation at all times to look for the short term military security advantage at the expense of the necessary political search for a solution. If it is our conclusion, as I believe it is, that the view of the Parliament is that the administration of justice within Northern Ireland does not enjoy the confidence of this House as to its impartiality it follows that the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act 1976, which permits the trying of offences committed outside our jurisdiction within our jurisdiction and permits evidence of such offences to be given, should be utilised here rather than to accede to extradition processes for offences committed within Northern Ireland. That is the conclusion I come to based on the view of this Parliament of the state of justice within Northern Ireland, as reflected in this debate.

Reference was made to our Special Criminal Court but the normal rules of evidence apply there. We would be rash, in the course of the debate, to pretend that there have not been certain inroads on our freedoms as a result of activities of paramilitaries because they have occurred on this side of the Border even if their origins lie on the other side. Thankfully they are not substantive. There is no comparison between the Special Criminal Court system under which three judges operate with normal rules of evidence obtaining and in relation to the Diplock court system operating in Northern Ireland. I recognise the difficulty of returning to the jury practice within so severely polarised a society as Northern Ireland but all this difficulty goes to prove our case that Northern Ireland is a maimed society and that the UK Government, which is outside the ambit of this debate, are pursuing the wrong course in depending solely on the Northern Ireland judicial system to cope with political problems.

It is opportune that the House is speaking as with one voice on the main matter before us which is condemnation of the supergrass system in Northern Ireland.

As an Ulsterman, I am rather disappointed to see not one single member of the Cabinet in for this debate. It is a reflection on the importance attached to it by Government. We can pack those seats for a debate on Europe, Portugal and Spain but when it comes to dealing with the problem in the Six Counties we do not have one single member of the Government nor did we have one all night.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs was here last night.

There is the strength of the back benchers.

I must have order.

My colleague, Deputy Fitzgerald, has called my attention to a quotation from Pastor Niemoller of Germany who was jailed by the Nazis. He said:

They first came for the communists; I did not speak because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Jews; I did not speak because I was not a Jew. Then they came to fetch the workers, members of trade unions; I did not speak because I was not a trade unionist. Afterwards, they came for the Catholics; I did not say anything because I was a Protestant. Eventually they came for me, and there was no one left to speak ...

In putting down this motion Fianna Fáil are providing an opportunity that we badly needed to speak on the problem in the Six Counties. I agree with the approach that this should not be party political. I must attack a central thesis in the speech of the Minister for Foreign Affairs but not on party political lines. I agree with a good deal of what the Minister for Foreign Affairs said on this matter on numerous occasions, notably in a speech some time ago in Limerick and in another speech in Drogheda. However, I cannot accept the thesis in his speech last night and from what Deputy O'Leary said he does not accept it either. The Minister said that the considerations concerning the lives and safety of innocent people:

are among the reasons why I cannot agree that the system can be condemned absolutely without qualification and why I am asking all sides to support our amendment rather than the original resolution.

He went on to speak about witnesses being intimidated and being afraid to come forward because of the savageries inflicted, judges attacked and relations murdered. He said:

In such circumstances is it any wonder that resort is had to evidence of this nature?

I call the attention of the House to the philosophy outlined there. Deputy O'Leary has just condemned the approach that the end justifies the means. Dáil Éireann should indicate strongly by its vote that we do not believe that the end justifies the means. The Minister said:

If the use of accomplice evidence serves to put these sectarian murderers behind bars and helps to allay the fears of the innocent, is there anyone in the Dáil who would object?

We are objecting to the method of convicting people because we are not convinced that the people who are convicted are guilty and because they have been stripped of all the protection that the law has developed for such people over many generations.

The Minister said innocent Protestant people were also being terrified, attacked and murdered. He said:

I do not believe that the Members of Dáil Éireann, for all our serious concern about supergrass trials, would oppose their use in bringing to justice the murderers of the innocent who died in the infamous slaughter which took place in Darkley...

What the House is concerned with is that when persons are arraigned they should get a fair and just trial. That is the substance of our motion before the House. It does not matter if paramilitaries act unjustly and murder people; their wrong does not make a wrong on the side of the administration in the Six Counties right and never will.

The Minister said that if the murderers are brought to justice that justifies the method by which that is done. I am calling on the House, appealing to the Government side, to the members of the Fine Gael and Labour Parties to see the basic philosophical problem and to reject the idea that if you have an end to achieve you can use any means irrespective——

The Minister did not say that.

——irrespective of what those means are, irrespective of whether you are showing contempt for legal formulae and legal safeguards that have been developed over many generations. In other words, if injustice, horrific injustice is inflicted on people by paramilitaries, you are entitled to use an unjust method to bring them to what you call justice. That thesis cannot be sustained. We have had an account of the court cases where there was no jury——

Where was the place that he said that?

The Deputy will not put me off. That is his stunt.

(Interruptions.)

We must have order.

We have had in this House already — I am not going to go over it again — an outline of the no jury, one judge, Diplock courts. At least here we have — not the most desirable system — three judges, and, as Deputy O'Leary said, the laws of evidence apply. I do not know why there are a couple of judges in the Six Counties who have never been called upon to preside at those trials. I do not know whether they would be able to put up enough judges, three to a court, to utilise in these cases. That pool of judges, made up mainly of ex-Unionist MPs and Attorneys General, would be suspected of being polluted from the word go. We know that torture was tried before the supergrass phase. We know that this House and an Irish Government played a role in having that kind of torture and the activities of the UK Government condemned. Speakers have referred to the erosion of what lawyers call the due process of law, and we know that suspects can be held for seven days. confessions made under threat have been admitted as evidence in the courts. We know, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs referred to it last night, that bail is a thing of the past and that somebody who is merely a suspect may be five years in jail before he is brought to trial.

Therefore, I do not think the word "condemn" is too strong to put before Dáil Éireann tonight in our motion before the House. In the amendment in the name of the Minister the UK and British Government are not mentioned at all. It is as well to sew into the record of this House that the UK Government have a responsibility, that the Attorney General is the man who consults with and directs the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North, that the Attorney General is appointed by the British Government, that he is a political appointee and that, consequently, the British Government cannot shy off from responsibility in this matter. That is why the wording in our resolution is very important. Anyone who likes can read it; I am not going to take up time, I am not going to be diverted to reading that resolution out now. There is no mention of the British Government in the amendment. The responsibility is there and in the end the crunch question is, where does the responsibility lie? I am putting it to this House that the responsibility lies with the British Government and that there is an obligation on this House to bring to their attention that they are responsible for the activities in their courts in the Six Counties.

We know that these people are taken in. I was on the telephone to Belfast this afternoon. We know what is done with them. Where does this Judas money come from? Surely the British Government if they are providing that money for the supergrass witnesses——

The Chair has been trying to exclude that gentleman from the debate.

Would you allow Iscariot?

No, put him out.

We have complained that there is not preliminary inquiry, that bills of indictment are granted very easily. Are the political philosophers of whom Britain boasts going to be co-adjuced in these cases? Are their philosophers, their jurists, their international jurists, or their religious leaders to be co-adjuced? We know that the supergrass people with their wallets bursting with pieces of silver are now making a charade of British justice. The motives of the supergrass people are supposed to be anxiety to get out of prison. What about the silver that I have mentioned? There is a strong belief now among the people on the scene in Belfast that an element of Palovian conditions is going on. They are kept apart from their families. They are asked not to make contact with any of their former friends. Where they come into court they have their story so well rehearsed that they dot every i and cross every t, and this in itself is a subject of some suspicion. Gifford said in one of his Cogdon Trust lectures that it was quite evident that many of the supergrasses had their story very well rehearsed. Cogdon is not a bad name to invoke in that context; when somebody of that stature says that we know damn well that the people have been conditioned. How successfully they have been psychologically conditioned I do not know, but it is obvious to everybody that they have been conditioned. Even when they are being brought into court, when Jack is in the box, he is not allowed to be seen by the prisoners. He has not to face them or look at them, and, of course there is a huge battalion of policemen all around the court intimidating the witness who has already been conditioned, and intimidating the prisoners also — there is no change there.

It is important that we bring to the attention of the British Government that they are shaming themselves in the eyes of the world. We should encourage international jurists to come to the courts and see what is going on. In fairness to the British Government, they have always been anxious to look well before the world, and if we find that a weakness in them then we should encourage international jurists from whatever country to come and watch what is going on, to see this travesty of justice for which they are responsible. That is my main theme.

One of the stupidities of the whole system is that, God save the mark, the judge has to warn himself. The House will not believe this. The judges are warning themselves that uncorroborated evidence of an accomplice is dangerous to convict on. As solemn as owls they sit on the benches and warn themselves that this is a danger. That will give an idea to the House of the degree of farce involved in these trials which take place in our country in the six north-eastern counties.

I will make one more point before I sit down. The judge is believing the supergrasses even though people like Desmond Boal are exposing them every day, but they are not believing solid witnesses, as many as 40, providing an alibi when a young man is accused of walking around south Tyrone with a landmine in his waistcost pocket sometime between 1 January in a given year and 31 December in the same year. Legal people who are fed up with the whole business have pulled out of many of these cases. They are in a dilemma. Some who have pulled out have gone back in again, believing that they might be able to do more good by staying in. They know the rules of the farce by now and they think that if they stay in they will be able either to benefit law and justice or benefit some of the defendants.

I conclude by asking the House — I do not want to make a party political issue of this — and appealing to the Government, in order to be able to call on the British Government, to withdraw the amendment and agree our original motion before the House.

Motion in the name of Deputy Haughey and other members of Fianna Fáil and amendment No. 1 in the name of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am putting the question that amendment No. 1 be made.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 66.

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Bermingham, Joe.
  • Birmingham, George Martin.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, Martin Austin.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • (Limerick East)
  • O'Brien, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Prendergast, Frank.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dowling, Dick.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Doyle, Joe.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Frank.
  • Manning, Maurice.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
  • Skelly, Liam.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Treacy, Seán.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Blaney, Neil Terence.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Byrne, Seán.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Coughlan, Cathal Seán.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Fahey, Francis.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Gregory-Independent, Tony.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leonard, Tom.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Tom.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West)
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Dea, William.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond J.
  • Ormonde, Donal.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Barrett(Dún Laoghaire) and Taylor; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and Barrett (Dublin North-West).
Question declared lost.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 66.

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Bermingham, Joe.
  • Birmingham, George Martin.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, Martin Austin.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dowling, Dick.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Doyle, Joe.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Frank.
  • Manning, Maurice.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • (Limerick East)
  • O'Brien, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Prendergast, Frank.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
  • Skelly, Liam.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Treacy, Seán.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Blaney, Neil Terence.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Byrne, Seán.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Hilliard, Colm.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leonard, Tom.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Tom.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West)
  • Coughlan, Cathal Seán.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Fahey, Francis.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Gregory-Independent, Tony.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Dea, William.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • Ormonde, Donal.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Barrett(Dún Laoghaire) and Taylor; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and Barrett (Dublin North-West).
Question declared carried.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.