Private Members' Business. - Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987: Motion (Resumed).

The following motion was moved by the Taoiseach on Tuesday 6 December 1988:
That Dáil Éireann, in accordance with section 7 (4) of the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987, declares that the said Act shall continue in operation after the day that is 12 months after the date of its passing.
—(The Taoiseach.)
Debate resumed on amendment No. 2:
To insert the following words after "operation""for a further period of twelve months"; and to add to the Motion "unless a resolution is passed by each House of the Oireachtas before the 14th December 1989 declaring that it shall continue in operation after that day.
—(Deputy S. Barrett.)

I remind Deputy Peter Barry that he has two minutes.

I think we are all aware that the Anglo-Irish Agreement has provided the means to focus the political will of both Governments towards the task of defeating terrorism and, therefore, towards a stable and a just society for both communities in Northern Ireland. I have been calling on both Governments, since the beginning of this year and indeed for 12 months previously, to work the Anglo-Irish Agreement to the full. They must regain the momentum and the dynamism of the first 18 months of this Agreement. It is time that the Irish Government started to plan ahead and to follow long-term strategies.

In the light of the present difficulties it is right and proper that we in this country demand a more open and constructive approach from the British Government. The aim of the Extradition Act is to defeat terrorism, national or international. It is a measure of the effectiveness of the Anglo-Irish Agreement that all parties have come together to defeat a common enemy, the men of violence and terrorism, but more than this is required. What is required now is a signal from both Governments that they have a clear vision of confirmed commitment to peace and stability in Ireland.

When I spoke earlier tonight I asked the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs to clarify what the Minister has said earlier in his speech about the ability of this House to review the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987, in the New Year. That has not been done yet as far as I am aware. I hope the Minister for Justice who will be speaking later tonight will clarify what the Minister for Foreign Affairs said earlier, that we will have the opportunity to amend the Extradition (Amendment) Act early next year as well as to review, as is laid down in that Act, the report of the Attorney General on the workings of the agreement for the last 12 months.

An Teachta Hugh Conaghan.

On a point of order, I wish to point out to the Chair with all due humility that I have been listening with interest to this debate from its outset and I am being ignored. You talked earlier, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, about going from the Opposition benches to the Government benches. I qualify on both counts and I have not been called. I put them there and I am now in Opposition.

Deputy Blaney will accept that it is not the wish of the Chair to ignore any Deputy. I would indicate to him that the Chair must follow a certain pattern. I hope that before the Minister is called it may be possible to call Deputy Blaney——

It may be possible.

——for a short contribution.

It may be possible, a short contribution; that is typical.

Unfortunately, Deputy, I cannot extend time. Whatever else I might do, I cannot make time available. I must try to operate within the time that exists.

You could, if you called in the order that you might.

Deputy Hugh Conaghan.

This is no fault of my colleague from Donegal. Do not get me wrong.

He is, after all, Father of the House.

Perhaps the Deputy's party might agree to acknowledge that they are giving him 15 minutes. Will there be no objection?

It was those people who made the rules.

Deputy Conaghan should be allowed to proceed.

I should be allowed my 15 minutes just as is everybody else in the House.

This is a democracy and he should be allowed to make his point.

If there were normal relations between this country and Great Britain perhaps we would not be here discussing the extradition issue but, unfortunately, that position does not prevail. There is grave concern throughout the country in relation to the extradition arrangements currently being reviewed. I want to put on the record my observations and views on why there are so many problems in relation to this issue and in particular on the strained relationship between our two countries. Extradition strikes against the whole historic aspirations and concept of Ireland as a Thirty-two County entity, part of whose national territory is still under occupation by a foreign power. Ireland's right to sovereignty, independence and unity is inalienable and indefatigable. Partition was imposed on Ireland against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland and the imposition of partition has led to a permanent problem concerning the Six Counties.

The Most Reverend Dr. John Austin Baker, Anglican Bishop of Salisbury, a leading Anglican the ologian who was also Chaplin to the British House of Commons at the time of the 1981 hunger strike, said of Britain that her injustice created the situation and by constantly repeating that they would maintain it as long as a majority in the Six Counties wish they actively inhibit Protestant and Catholic from working out a new future together. This is the root of the violence and the reason the protestors think of themselves as political offenders.

Many major constitutional documents of this State repudiate all British claims over any part of the national territory. Neither Britain nor a small minority selected by Britain has any right to partition this ancient island of Ireland. It is worth quoting from some of these documents, leaving aside the Easter 1916 Proclamation and the 1919 Declaration of Independence which were adopted before Partition and which obviously assert our national unity. We can still look at the 1937 Constitution adopted by the people of this State and the unanimous declaration of Dáil Éireann on 10 May 1949. Article 2 of Bunreacht na hÉireann states that the national territory consists of the whole territory of this island and the territorial seas. Article 3 speaks of the reintegration of our national territory and the right of the Parliament and Government established by the Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory.

The 1949 declaration adopted unanimously under the then Taoiseach, John A. Costello, and the then leader of the Opposition, Eamon de Valera, solemnly reasserts the indefatigable right of the Irish nation to the unity and integrity of the national territory. It reaffirms the sovereign right of the people of Ireland to choose their own form of Government and, through their democratic institutions, to decide all questions of national policy, free from outside interference, repudiating the claim of the British Parliament to enact legislation affecting Ireland's territorial integrity and violation of those rights and pledging the determination of the Irish people to continue the struggle of the unjust and unnatural partition of a country until it is brought to a successful conclusion. It records the indignant protest against the introduction in the British Parliament of legislation purporting to endorse and continue the existing Partition of Ireland and calls on the British Government and people to end the present occupation of our six north-eastern counties and thereby enable the unity of Ireland to be restored and the age long difference between the two nations to be brought to an end. That declaration was sent to the Governments and Parliaments of all countries with which Ireland had diplomatic relations. It is the only unanimous declaration of the Dáil on the Partition issue.

There can be no doubt from all of those earlier statements and the litany of oppression endured by the Northern Nationalist community since Partition that the conflict in the North is political. As Congressman, Joe Kennedy, stated after his recent visit, he was in no doubt that the people resorted to violence because of the attitude of the British and their rule in the North. Given that there is a political conflict at the root of violence in the North, that Britain's presence is at the root of that conflict, bearing in mind the violation of the feelings of the majority of Irish people and also of most British people, and the violation of the major constitutional documents of this State, it would be very difficult for any Irish Government to extradite people to the Six Counties or to Britain without ensuring beyond all reasonable doubt that any warrant received from the Six Counties or Britain conformed to the provisions of the Extradition Act, 1987.

In prevailing circumstances it is very difficult to allow people to be extradited to Britain since they still occupy part of our national territory. In those circumstances I have a difficulty, in that, to my mind, extraditing people to the North or Britain recognises the right of the British to be in Ireland and to impose their will and laws on our country, flouting our aspirations and the constitutional position of this State.

It has now come to the point at which people who oppose the British presence in our country are branded as common criminals. I have no apologies to offer to anybody for my views in relation to the occupation of this country or with regard to extraditing people for offences of which they may be guilty to the Six Counties or to Great Britain. Having said that I want to place on record that, while I may accept that many of them are misled, that many may be of the firm conviction that they are engaged in a process of freeing this country of an oppressor, as a constitutional politician — who believes that the law of this land must be upheld —I believe that people who perpetrate such atrocities must also face the consequences of the laws of the country in which they may have committed them. In view of the present attitude of the British Government to this country, which they do not recognise to be a sovereign independent nation, then we have an obligation to ensure that there are safeguards in our extradition laws so that any person sought in another jurisdiction is protected to the full before being sent out of the country and has a proper case to answer. That is the position as I see it and I am firmly convinced that many people in the country are of the same opinion.

Fianna Fáil acted correctly in having introduced the safeguards in the Extradition Act, 1987. Indeed, were it not for those safeguards people could have been handed across virtually on demand. The record of my party has never been in doubt with regard to dealing with subversives or people who have offended against the State. They dealt with the problems that obtained in the thirties, forties and fifties. I have no doubt that any Fianna Fáil Government in office would be prepared to do whatever was found to be necessary. Indeed, the present Government are doing so in supporting the safeguards enshrined in the Extradition Act of 1987.

The Deputy's time is almost exhausted.

The remarks made by the present Head of the British Government in regard to the extradition of Father Patrick Ryan were reprehensible and constituted a deep insult. I might compliment the Taoiseach on his handling of the overall position.

The Six Counties is a failed entity and, until that situation is resolved, then we shall experience many attendant problems.

I do not have a great deal to add to what my colleagues——

May I ask you, a Cheann Comhairle, whether I, as an elected Member of this House, have any right to talk at all, or is it the club system across that obtains? I was told earlier that the rotation process is Government, then Opposition. Which am I?

I want to assure the Deputy that I shall strive to facilitate him.

You have been striving since 4 o'clock, a Cheann Comhairle.

This is a limited debate over which the Chair has no control, but, in so far as I am concerned, I will see to it that the Deputy is facilitated.

As I had begun to say, there is not a great deal I want to add to what my colleagues Deputies S. Barrett and Peter Barry have already said. But it should be pointed out in this House that it would be utterly absurd to pretend or to find ourselves in a position in which the only options facing this House would be to drop the 1987 safeguards or continue their operation indefinitely.

This is a sovereign Legislature and must be free to make its own decisions. If the Dáil agrees with my proposal that we put a term to the operation of these safeguards, pending a further review, that most certainly would not be going outside the original intentions of the 1987 Act.

We should also reflect on where the roots of today's debate lie. They go back quite a long while but one of the strongest reasons for today's debate are to be found in a debate in this House in November and December 1986 in relation to the Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Bill, 1986, subsequently enacted.

Part of the reason for the difficulties about this issue today is to be found in the utterly disgraceful performance of the Fianna Fáil Party in the course of that debate. In the course of that debate — and the Official Report clearly shows it — speaker after speaker in the Fianna Fáil Party, most notable among them at the time being Deputy Dr. Woods, the present Minister for Social Welfare attempted to obscure the whole issue. The whole tenor of Fianna Fáil's contribution to that debate was designed to create the pretence that that Bill invented extradition or the handing over of requested persons from this country to the United Kingdom or to any jurisdiction within it. Of course that was not the case. I begin to believe we are making some progress when I read and remember what the Taoiseach said here today. I will quote two passages from his speech:

Today's motion proposes to renew the safeguards contained in the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987. That is its only purpose and that will be its single effect. If the motion were not adopted, this would not mean that our extradition arrangements with Britain and the North would be suspended. Those arrangements would remain because the Extradition Act, 1965 and the Extradition (European Convention of the Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1987 would still be part of our law.

The Taoiseach went on to say later:

We are not concerned today, either, with a general review of the operation of the extradition arrangements we have with Britain and the North. Issues affecting the operation of those arrangements as a whole will be a matter for another day when we come to debate the report which the Government is required under section 6 of the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987 to make to the Houses of the Oireachtas on the operation of Part III of the 1965 Act. That review of the operation of Part III in its entirety is a quite separate matter from the renewal of the 1987 Amendment Act which is what today's motion is about.

I had the experience earlier this evening of looking at an RTE television news programme just after 6 o'clock and one of the items carried on that was a series of interviews conducted with various Members of this House on the plinth outside. One of those Deputies was Deputy Davern who has been a contributor on and off to the debate about extradition. The Deputy was at some pains to explain that the debate in this House today is about the safeguards and only about these particular safeguards. The Deputy went on to say — and I felt almost like applauding him — that we must have extradition and that extradition must be part of the legal system in any civilised state. The reason I felt like applauding that statement from Deputy Davern is that it is a new approach from Fianna Fáil Deputies to be quite so unambiguous about extradition, about the safeguards in the Act and about what this debate is all about this evening. I welcome it and I am glad to see it. I am happy that the Members of Fianna Fáil in this House tonight are finally going to end the ambiguity and the pretence they have spent the best part of two years cultivating, and perhaps even longer than that, because there is no doubt about the fact that by their approach to this whole issue and particularly since the end of 1986 they have sown the whirlwind and they are reaping it now. Earlier on this evening Deputy Spring illustrated just what a whirlwind it is.

Deputy Spring discussed the situation that faces the Attorney General at present and he said that if the Attorney General decides to give a direction that the warrant that is in place in a case at present before him should be executed he could be unleashing a hurricane of political activity and protest that could do terrible damage to this country at least in the short term and that if he decides not to give a direction he could be ensuring that the possibility of securing progress towards peace and reconciliation on this island is set back for years. There is not a lot of exaggeration in what Deputy Spring said and the reason why the situation is as he has described is because there has been so much ambivalence and ambiguity on the part of Fianna Fáil deputies for so long on this issue of extradition.

I wonder how many Members of Fianna Fáil at meetings over the past few weeks, not to speak of the last few years, have taken the trouble to point out that we have had a backing of warrants procedure between this country and the UK since 1922 and not just since 1965? How many Deputies in Fianna Fáil have gone to the trouble to point that out? How many of them have gone to the trouble of pointing out that successive Fianna Fáil Governments over the past 66 years have stuck to these arrangements and have implemented them even at times when it has been politically hard for them to do so. They stuck to those arrangements because it was the right thing to do and because there is an interest in this country and in our neighbouring country in keeping down violence, in combating the people who would seek to impose their will on others by violence. Let us be clear about it: it was a Fianna Fáil Government and a Fianna Fáil Minister for Justice who codified the whole system in 1965 and who gave us among other things Part III of the 1965 Extradition Act.

This debate has been very important because at the end of it when this House makes its decision tonight I fully expect that the Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party will march through the lobby and say with their feet, which is the way it counts in this House, that they accept, agree with and support the necessity for arrangements under which we will hand over persons who are to be charged in another jurisdiction, because we believe that is a right and proper part of the legal system that we should have in any civilised country.

During the course of the past few weeks there has been what I could only call a movement of rediscovery in which the Taoiseach has shared and in which Deputies in the Fianna Fáil Party and the Minister for Justice have shared. They have rediscovered the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act, 1976 and time after time during that period it has been trotted out as the solution to our problem. The Taoiseach mentioned it today in his speech where he dealt with it in some detail. He pointed out that the record of prosecutions under the 1976 Act in cases relating to extra territorial jurisdictions was impressive and he gave the statistics. The Taoiseach concluded.

The Government believe that greater use should be made of that legislation in future and that by invoking its provisions in appropriate cases it will be possible to find an appropriate way of tackling the common problem of the fugitive offender.

I agree that where it is appropriate we should use the Act but I would strongly advise the Ministers, Deputies and others in the Fianna Fáil Party when they invoke that Act to make sure before doing so that they read it. I will read the Long Title of that Act. It is called

An Act to extend the criminal law of the State to certain acts done in Northern Ireland, to provide for the admission of evidence obtained by the examination of witnesses in Northern Ireland at trials for offences in respect of those acts, to enable evidence to be obtained by the examination of witnesses in the State for trials in Northern Ireland for corresponding offences under the law of Northern Ireland in respect of acts done in the State, to reform the criminal law in other respects and to provide for related matters.

The Long Title of that Act should be a required part of the impedimenta of every Member of the Fianna Fáil Party and of many other people who go around this country talking about extradition, because the context of that is very clear.

Earlier on the Taoiseach suggested that we should be circumspect with reference to a particular case. I do not intend to inflame anything by what I might say about a particular case but that Long Title, if properly read, would prevent many people around this country from making asses of themselves and from pretending that the law provides for something for which it does not provide.

During the debate on the Bill at this time last year and during the course of today we pointed out that we have reservations about these particular safeguards and about the role allocated to our Attorney General in the Act that is now before us. We have pointed out that we do not have enough experience of the operation of these safeguards to be confident that they are what we need. We pointed out, and I pointed out about two years ago, that apart from anything else that was going on, the then Government of which I was Minister for Justice, had taken up the question of safeguards and proper procedures with the United Kingdom authorities and had come to a number of conclusions with them. The Government chose to go further in the way that is contained in the 1987 Act.

I am far from being convinced that the precise method chosen was the correct one and I do not think this House has before it enough information about the operation of those safeguards to be able to say with any confidence that the indefinite continuation of these safeguards is the right course of action for us to take. I do not believe that is the case.

I am disappointed Deputy Dukes suddenly discovered that Fianna Fáil members had standards, but if he mixed a little more he might find that other members also had standards. Fianna Fáil have always adopted strong resolutions, particularly in the thirties and forties when conditions were even more severe. The record will show they did what had to be done during that period.

This debate deals with public concern about extradition. I do not believe that concern is any greater this year than it was last year. I was disappointed to hear Deputy Dukes try to stir the pot a little. He did not include safeguards in the legislation when he was a Minister of the Government which introduced this legislation in 1986. The Fianna Fáil Government reacted to that legislation by bringing in amending legislation which included these safeguards because if the public are not happy that there are safeguards in this legislation, there is the possibility that they will be liable to fall prey to the propaganda of others. There is a very thin line between the emotionalism of some people and joining an illegal organisation.

I am delighted the safeguards in this Act are being renewed. This is a credit not just to the present Attorney General but to past Attorneys General, including Deputy Kelly. Our Attorneys General have always been men of high standing.

We are happy that the Attorney General will be the proper person to adjudicate on applications under the 1987 Act.

I am very concerned about the lack of sensitivity displayed by a Prime Minister of another country last week. I was delighted at the restraint exercised by the Taoiseach and the Government compared with the indignation and insensitive statements of that Prime Minister. I applaud the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice for their lead. They have given a great sense of dignity to the country and to the House. They have set the pattern for others to follow. They set the guidelines for the law abiding citizens of this country who were incensed at that attack not only on our Government but on the nation as a whole.

What worries me slightly is that although there is extradition to Northern Ireland, there is still no progress on the Diplock court system, the replacement of a jury by one judge who has to decide the issue, and now he has the added problem of the right to silence which makes his work much more difficult. I urge the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Foreign Affairs to keep pressing for a change in the Diplock court system and the re-introduction of a three-judge system. In this way, we can be assured that that safeguard is not only included in the 1987 Act but that it is there in the North where there will be a fair judgement, one which can be seen to be fair by all.

I am concerned about the controversy which has been very cleverly used by members of the Provisional IRA to stir the emotions and to get people involved in their activities. Today, the Taoiseach urged that more use would be made of the Criminal Jurisdiction Act. I hope that will be considered particularly in the present circumstances and acted upon by the British. The recent extradition case involves three countries and is extremely sensitive. There is a serious lack of confidence in the British judicial system, not merely in the application of justice but also in the imposition of penalties. That is the perception of the Irish people and as long as it exists, we will have extreme difficulty in persuading our people to accept certain facts.

No Government have ever doubted that there is and always will be a need for extradition. There have been over 800 extraditions from the Republic and 1,000 from the other side. This proves that this practice has been in operation for a number of years, but it also shows that we must have this type of agreement for criminal as well as subversive activities. If the people of Northern Ireland are to be considered, the British must co-operate in the area of the Diplock courts bearing in mind the sensitivity of the Irish people.

I hope this motion will get unanimous support tonight. While there is a number of amendments down, I do not believe the Fine Gael amendment is very strong nor that they feel very strongly about it. It is a reflection on the long line of honourable and decent law officers who acted as agents for all Governments over many years. I hope future Governments when appointing law officers will ensure that these very high standards are maintained. We have had a very high standard among our law officers since 1922 and will continue——

(Limerick East): It is the same as last year. If it was not a reflection last year, it will not be a reflection this year.

The Deputy's party were not in favour of it last year, and they did not introduce it. As a party they were prepared to let it go through on its own.

(Limerick East): The Government accepted our amendment last year.

I appreciate that, but we brought it in.

It was to console Fianna Fáil——

No, it was not to console anybody in Fianna Fáil. It was to console the Irish public who were concerned about it. Deputy Taylor-Quinn was not concerned about it the year before but she is as concerned about it now as anybody else because she is aware of public feeling. I compliment her party Leader for rowing in behind the Government.

I am sorry to interrupt the Deputy, but I understand he is to conclude about now.

(Limerick East): If the Government can implement our policies——

Between Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats the Deputy does not know which is which. However, he is delighted with the leadership that Fianna Fáil are giving and the Fine Gael Party do not have to take responsibility for it. That applies to extradition as well as to the economy.

We can answer for ourselves.

You are quite welcome to answer for yourself. I would like to reiterate my compliments to the Minister for Justice and to the Taoiseach for their tremendous lead to the Irish people last week in raising the standards of dignity which were lowered so much by others in other parliaments.

It must be said at the outset, and reiterated time and again, that this debate is not about whether we should have extradition on the Statute Book, but that to a certain extent it is about whether we should have safeguards and what safeguards we should have for individuals whose extradition is sought from this country.

It is important to note that extradition procedures as between the United Kingdom and Ireland operate under a less onerous and cumbersome mechanism than operates between Ireland and many other countries. There is a history of almost automatic backing of warrants between the two countries, without the necessity to enter into a treaty or convention. To that end it must be pointed out in this House and beyond, that there is a privileged relationship between the United Kingdom and this country with regard to extradition.

Part III of the 1965 Extradition Act deals particularly with the situation between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Under that Act, extradition between Ireland and other countries had to be agreed at a later date by convention or treaty. Ireland undertook to ratify the European Convention on Terrorism on signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement and in order to fulfil that commitment it was necessary to amend our legislation so as to rule out a defence against extradition on the ground of the offence being political or committed in connection with a political offence. That, in effect, is what the 1987 Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Act implemented. However, this Act was not to come into operation until 1 December 1987. During that period after which the Convention legislation was passed and in the latter part of the year, Fianna Fáil backbench opinion was fanned into believing that vast numbers of our citizens were going to be at risk following on the ratification of the European Convention on Terrorism and that there was a possibility that they would not allow the Convention to be implemented. The Government then found, due to a number of horrific incidents of a terrorist nature occurring around that time that they were forced to ratify the Convention, but felt the necessity to put some kind of political gloss on their about turn and so we had the Extradition (Amendment) Act passed last December.

Following that legislation, the Attorney General, a political appointee, is an integral part of the procedures, having been given the responsibility of certifying that there is a clear indication to prosecute and that this intention is founded in the existence of sufficient evidence. In that connection, I would like to point out that Deputy Ahern earlier in this debate tried in some roundabout way to differentiate between the Attorney General acting in his capacity as legal adviser to the Government and the Attorney General acting under the provisions of this Act. There is no difference. It is the same person, he holds the same office. You cannot say he is acting in a semi- or quasi-judicial capacity with regard to this Act and at the same time say that he is not acting as a judge. It was the Progressive Democrats' opinion at the time of the passing of that Act, and it remains so, that this new function of the Attorney General is a quasi-judicial function at the very least and is, therefore, constitutionally suspect.

The other direct result of the involvement of the Attorney General in the extradition process is that that process itself becomes politicised. As I have said the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the Government and reports directly to the Taoiseach. He is a political appointee who loses office with the Government. The close relationship between the Government and the Attorney General, taken together with his responsibility for consenting to the endorsement of extradition warrants, especially where many of those warrants concern people wanted for quasi-political offences, sets a very dangerous trend. At the very least, the Attorney General leaves himself open to allegations of political pressure, despite the provisions within that Act. No matter what way he makes his decision, those allegations can be made.

There is the added aspect that the opinion the Attorney General forms, on which basis the consent to extradite is either given or withheld, is formed behind closed doors, with no reasons given and, therefore, no way of countering the information he has considered. That is a remarkably difficult part of the amendment Act to stomach. If we are talking about safeguards, they should be out in the public eye. We should know whose extradition is being looked for, we should know whether it has been granted and we should also know on what grounds the decision was taken. It is the very antithesis of a real democracy which incorporates a proper judicial system to find that decisions are taken in that Star-Chamber like manner, behind closed doors.

This is one of the major reasons the whole extradition process between Britain and Ireland has become politicised and the reaction, therefore, to a perceived failure on the Irish Administration's part to extradite is seen as being politically motivated in Britain. This Parliament was treated to a bally-ragging by the British Prime Minister last week on an individual extradition case in a way that indicated a real lack of appreciation of legal provisions in this country. It was either that or a deliberate intervention which in itself jeopardises the extradition process in this and other cases.

Overnight many people in Ireland reacted against the tone and content of Mrs. Thatcher's remarks and those of her Government. Opinion is now polarised to such an extent that the whole process of extradition between the two countries is at risk. This is one of the consequences of introducing a political element into the decision-making process on this side of the Irish Sea, that is, the role of the Attorney General in vetting extradition applications. Real work will have to be done immediately and continue over the next number of months on rebuilding relationships within the Anglo-Irish conference and particularly at head of Government level so as to further an appreciation of the political realities and difficulties facing both Governments. It is simply not good enough to allow a useful tool, that is extradition, in the fight against terrorism to become sidelined through the politicisation of its mechanisms.

I would also like to draw attention to another provision which relates to combating terrorism and to which the Taoiseach referred in his address to the House earlier in this debate, that is, the use of the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act, 1976. It is worthy of note that in the debate on that Bill, the present Taoiseach, Deputy Haughey in Opposition, failed to endorse the objectives of that Bill. He also cast some doubt on whether it could be operated and said that if it were enacted it would provoke violence and disorder among the public. When he was in Government in 1982 and the Act was on the Statute Book and available for use, he refused to operate it. According to a report in a book called The Boss, which has not been denied by the Taoiseach himself or by anybody else, he called a meeting of Ministers, ambassadors and departmental secretaries before whom a member of the Garda Síochána laid a scenario, the same scenario, I might add, as the Taoiseach Deputy Haughey had laid before the Dáil when he spoke on the Bill, and that was that there would be public disorder and violence if the Act was used. After that the Act was not used. We must be in some real doubt as to whether this Government are committed to using that Act. There is a place for using that Act——

The British are——

——but not in substitution for extradition, I tell Deputy Cowen. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that one of the three major safeguards the Taoiseach referred to in this legislation which was passed a year ago was that the rule of specialty was to be extended to extradition as between Ireland and Britain. Up to that point it had simply been available to those who were being extradited to other countries. The Minister for Justice was by that legislation enabled to bring in an order which prevents those who are being extradited from being tried for any offences other than the ones in the charge. The Minister has had one year in which to bring in that order and I for one do not accept the excuse given that administratively there have been problems or negotiations were ongoing with the British. It is not good enough in this day and age when there is real doubt about the ability of an Irish person to obtain justice in some British courts, to allow a year to go by and one of the major safeguards in this Act not to be implemented. I call on the Minister for Justice to get going and bring in this rule of specialty. Why should it apply to those extradited to other countries and not apply as between Britain and Ireland?

Finally I would like to draw the attention of the House to some claims by Deputies in the Government party that it is not possible to involve a real judicial process, as opposed to a quasi one which the Attorney General holds, in the examination of evidence relating to Irish nationals who are sought for extradition to Britain. An argument is being put forward that the European Convention on Extradition precludes this country from involving any type of prima facie evidence or case under the terms of that Convention. That is simply not so. I have been advised by a number of people that what happened at the time of our ratifying that Convention was that we put down a marker about whom we were defining as our nationals, and they were to be citizens of Ireland. Having done that we are enabled to introduce evidentiary rules in relation to the extradition of our own nationals. We are certainly precluded from introducing different rules in relation to non-nationals, but in relation to our nationals we may allow a judicial process to take place which requires certain evidentiary rules.

I do not see why, on the advice of, I presume, the Department of Foreign Affairs, this Government have not investigated this possibility in a greater way. The Progressive Democrats amendment which we placed to this motion today and which was disallowed was looking for the services of a High Court Judge to be substituted for those of the Attorney General, in other words to put it on a proper judicial basis. We regard the situation as being open to that under the Convention on Extradition. We see no reason why such substitution cannot be done. I ask the Minister for Justice in his review of the whole extradition process, which I know is to take place early in the New Year, to have regard to that and to the real politicising of the extradition process when the Attorney General is being used, and to the fact that the whole process is therefore put further at risk the more it is politicised.

The Taoiseach tonight said acceptance and support are essential to the operation of extradition. I put it to him, lest he does not know through the members of his party and otherwise, that he has neither the acceptance nor the support of the majority of the Irish people for extradition to Britain and the Six Counties at present, and the sooner he wakes up to this the more likely he and his Government are to begin to act as representatives of the people rather than as lackeys of the British occupation of this country. I have listened attentively to what has been said here tonight and if it was not so serious it would really be farcical. We see all sorts of rabbits being pulled out of a hat and so many red herrings being pulled across that our quota on the Celtic Sea would be filled as far as the EC would be concerned, and what is it all about? Each and every speaker trying to be better than the one who went before as to how and why we should have extradition.

I differentiate entirely and completely between extradition to any other civilised country in the world and extradition to Britain and the Six Counties, and I draw a line at that. To those who trot out the 1965 and 1920 Acts or procedures since then, let me say that we all must have been educated very clearly on the sort of system we would export those we extradite today to by sending them to Britain. Have we forgotten the Birmingham Six for whom we have our people going round the world trying to influence people of other States to try and get their freedom because the belief is that they are innocent? Have we forgotten the Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven and more recently the Winchester Three? We have the incredible situation of those who are peddling that view on the one hand supporting extradition to the very system that has brought about what they worldwide are decrying as lack of justice for Irish people or people charged with offences relating in any degree to the freeing of part of this country. It is farcical and would be funny if it were not so serious.

To Fine Gael one might accord the doubtful compliment that they have been consistent since they took the name "Fine Gael" and before that right down to their foundation. At least that can be said of them, which is much more than can be said of the present Government. This is the Government whose party opposed tooth and nail the Anglo-Irish Agreement under which we were obliged to sign the European Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism directly from which came the Extradition Act which Fine Gael and their supporters in the Coalition in those days in 1986 put through this House on the casting vote of the Ceann Comhairle, much against the opposition of Fianna Fáil and a few others, but carried it was by the merest thread of the Ceann Comhairle's casting vote to bring it about. It had none of these trappings we are talking about tonight, that is the alleged safeguards. I say "alleged safeguards" now; they were alleged safeguards when those of us who thought so opposed them this time last year. They are really a charade, nothing more, nothing less. The Government, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice come in to talk, tongue in cheek, about a review after 12 months. Review of what? Review the safeguards that never were, that have not yet been shown up to be what they are, a fake. They have not been tried. At least Fine Gael's amendment is consistent in seeking to let us do it for another year and have another review and in the meantime we may have evidence to show whether the safeguards are safeguards or, what many of us think, merely window dressing in order to get the party to come in and do with their feet what they do not really think in their minds,

The sad part about this is that there really is nothing to debate, as nothing has happened in the 12 months since the passing of the Extradition Act. All we are allowed to talk about here tonight are the safeguards, but there have been no cases that they apply to. We are hearing the same refrain, that in the interests of the suppression of terrorism we have to have extradition to Great Britain who occupies our Six Counties and whose long litany of offences against human rights and civil rights are well documented in the European courts, in the Council of Europe. We cannot but be aware of the Stalker-Sampson debacle and the case of Private Thain, one of the very few peacekeeping security force members ever tried, who was sentenced to life for murder and did two years and is now back in his unit; in fact we find that he was never off the role of that unit and I would go so far as to say that he was paid as a private while he did the two years on foot of his murder conviction. That is very different to the 25 years for the Winchester Three, to the 14 or so years that the Birmingham Six have done — and the world believes them innocent.

You were on better ground a minute ago.

I am afraid I cannot hear you. My hearing is getting bad.

(Interruptions.)

I am on fairly good ground in any event. The Members of this House should stop crying about the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four and the Winchester Three while they are, at the same time, prepared by their votes in the lobbies here to commit Irish citizens to the tender mercies of the mob of Gough Barracks and Castlereagh torture centres. Surely it is ludicrous that they should do so. Yet, they are putting a face on it.

Let us take the point where the Attorney General enters into this matter, or is supposed to enter into it — he did not get the opportunity until a few days ago. Where a warrant is received in respect of a person who has already been convicted of the offence in question he does not come within the scope of the new procedure. A lad from my home town, Jim Clarke by name, was with several others committed to Long Kesh on the evidence of a supergrass. Jim Clarke, with a few others, escaped, but a number were still held. The supergrass was so discredited that eventually his mates were allowed out because they were wrongly convicted. Even in the North it was agreed that they were wrongly convicted. What is happening here now? Clarke is before our courts, on appeal at the moment, because of the conviction that was quashed in respect of his friends who were released from Long Kesh and in addition to that there is the charge on the warrant that he had escaped from the Maze. Could one get anything more crazy than that? This man is now being sought on the original charge, and because he had escaped from the custody he should never have been in. Another lad from the same town, McIntyre by name, got away on a motor bike and he was wise to have got away because he would be dealt with in the same way as we propose to deal with other people who are innocent.

Then we come to the Attorney General's function. Anybody, even those without legal training whatsoever, would agree that the function that is now assigned to the Attorney General — that he has to be satisfied or of the opinion that a prosecution will take place based on the charges and that he must be further satisfied that there is sufficient evidence — is a judicial function. Maybe in the law books it is not described as a judicial function, but is there anything more serious than a case where some person is charged by the authorities in the Six Counties and the Attorney General looks at the warrant and requires more evidence and eventually enough is trumped up to get the Attorney General of the opinion that that person must be sent back for trial? Surely that is a most serious decision. It has to do with the freedom of an individual, the freedom of a citizen of this State, and we are prepared — and I do not think we are entitled to under our Constitution — to leave it to a non-judicial person or persons to make that decision. That is wrong. This could and should be tried in a manner that would see it proven one way or the other.

We say that the 1965 Act was always there. What we do not recall and what we like to avoid is that in 1965 a political offence was a good defence and that continued not until it was whittled away, as Deputy Ahern said, but until it was totally upended in one fell swoop very late one night by three members of the Supreme Court in order to get McGlinchey across the Border so that Garret would have made his sacrifice to Mrs. Thatcher before he visited her the following week. That is what happened to the political defence, and not because the Supreme Court defined what a political offence was. They defined all the things that were not a political offence but nobody, the Supreme Court included, has attempted to define what is and was accepted over the years to be a political offence which was regarded as a good defence. Anybody who talks about the 1965 Act today should talk about the Supreme Court decision delivered in the small hours of the morning or the late hours of the night, on the eve of St. Patrick's Day or on St. Patrick's Day. That is the sort of thing we are dealing with here.

There has been talk here about emotional hype and people getting on the bandwagon. I think it was my friend, Deputy De Rossa, talking here in front of me tonight. He should know. He was on the bandwagon long enough himself and so were his cohorts sitting here as well. They should not forget that and they should not be throwing these snide remarks at other people and describing them as having been hyped and having got on the bandwagon at this particular time.

I intervene to advise the Deputy that he has two minutes left.

I think it was Deputy De Rossa also who spoke about certain organisations — about which he would have more knowledge than I have — being judge, jury and executioner. I may be wrong, and if I am I apologise. There was not a word about Britain being an institutional judge, jury and executioner on the Rock of Gibraltar. We forget these things. We forget McAnespie being shot going to a football match in his own village. We forget the fact that we had an inquiry from down here and a big hullabaloo about it and, likewise, an inquiry in the North which finally decided that it was a ricochet bullet that never should have hit the road to hit the man and that obviously came from the man above. The fact is it came from a British rifle, fired by a British soldier in a British pillbox on the checkpoint at Aughnacloy, which never should have been fired. Yet there was no prosecution, and none in relation to the executions in South Armagh, according to the Stalker-Sampson report.

It is a farce in the extreme to be trying to pretend in Parliament that this is a debate. There is no time for any debate; it is not sought to expose any of those things and it is much more comfortable to talk glibly about the suppression of terrorism.

I must now call another speaker.

While Britain occupies part of this country and behaves the way she has there should be no question of sending a citizen of ours across there to be tortured into confessing so that they may be convicted and sent to Long Kesh. I am disgusted that this House has got to the stage where it is merely a type of circus act between the two sides, a circus that is not funny.

A Cheann Comhairle, the purpose of the motion before this House tonight is to continue in operation the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987. Section 7 (4) of that Act provides that the Act itself shall expire on the day that is 12 months after the date of its passing unless a resolution is passed by each House of the Oireachtas before that day declaring that it should continue in operation. Hence the motion here tonight, with a similar motion in the other House tomorrow.

I want to deal first with the amendment put down in the name of Deputy Seán Barrett. The gist of that amendment is that the motion adopted here today should provide for the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987 being subject to a further renewal in 12 months time. That is simply not possible under the terms of section 7 (4) of the Act itself. The only kind of resolution which that provision allows for is a resolution declaring that the Act should continue in operation after 14 December next. A resolution which would seek to make the continued operation of the Act after 14 December subject to a further resolution a year from now would be ultra vires, section 7 (4). One cannot amend an Act of the Oireachtas by way of a motion.

If a resolution were adopted here today which was ultra vires section 7 (4) and void, the effect would be that the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987 would lapse. This would mean that the safeguards contained in that Act would cease to apply. However, any Act can, of course, be amended or repealed by further legislation if the need arises and there is a continuing review mechanism built into this Act in section 6. The Taoiseach in his opening statement has already referred to that mechanism and to the assurance he gave the Dáil of his intention to set the new arrangements aside if they were not adhered to or to bring forward revised proposals if the arrangements were not working satisfactorily and persons whose extradition was fully justified could evade the law.

If, after more experience of the working of the arrangements provided for in the 1987 Act, it becomes clear that they are not working satisfactorily, either to safeguard the rights of persons wanted for extradition or to ensure that there are not unjustifiable obstacles in the way of extradition, then remedial action will be taken by way of amending legislation. The Government will have to report annually to the Oireachtas under section 6 on the operation in the preceding year of Part III of the 1965 Act as a whole. This will mean that our entire extradition arrangements with the North and Britain, including the procedures provided for in the 1987 Act, will be subject to regular monitoring by the Government and full account will be taken of ongoing experience of how these arrangements operate. Any views which the British Government may put to us about the operation of the arrangements will also be considered as part of that review process.

Deputy Barrett suggested that if the courts were to find that his amendment had caused the legislation to lapse, that could be dealt with by way of a short amending Bill which could be processed quickly but the damage that would be caused to the whole extradition process in the interim would be severe. The passage of a motion containing this amendment would almost certainly give rise to a challenge to our whole extradition arrangements with the North and Britain and extradition would become paralysed until such a challenge was eventually determined by the Supreme Court. That is a risk which is simply not worth taking, especially in the light of the review mechanism in section 6 of the Act.

Deputy Barry inquired as to whether it will be possible to have amendments to the legislation made when the House will receive the first of the annual reports from the Government on the operation of Part III in the New Year. It is intended that all relevant aspects of our extradition arrangements with Britain and the North will be the subject of that report. However, that is not to say that amendments to the law will necessarily be introduced by the Government at that stage. It is clearly not possible to prejudge at this stage whether such amendments will be required. It will, of course, be open to Deputy Barry to introduce any legislative proposals he might have in the normal way.

I took up a point raised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in which he seemed to indicate that it might be possible.

I am sure I have clarified any doubts that might have been in the Deputy's mind about anything the Minister for Foreign Affairs might have said.

The Minister also misquoted me; he is being less than honest.

I do not think I misquoted anybody.

There should not be any interruptions. The time the Minister has is very limited and interruptions are particularly disorderly.

There should be a rule against misleading the House.

The interruptions should cease.

I now turn to the Father Ryan case but only because it was mentioned by many who contributed to the debate. I do not want to say too much about it, not only because, in my view, too much has already been said and written about it and not just in this House, but also because the matter is before the Attorney General at present and he has the statutory duty to consider the application under the terms of the 1987 Act.

One of the provisions of that Act — section 4 — prohibits communications with the Attorney General and certain other persons for the purpose of influencing the making of a decision under the Act. That particular provision underlines the legal aspects of the Attorney General's task under the Act. The decision be must take is of course a legal, or if you like, a quasi-judicial one, and political matters do not enter into the decision at all. It would be as well if this particular aspect of the matter were to be brought home to some of those who commented on the matter last week. The decision of the Attorney General will be based on the legal aspects of the case and no amount of political pressure, no matter who exerts it, or where it comes from, will have any bearing on his decision. That is the long and short of the matter.

Except that he is a political officer.

It has been suggested that the procedures under the 1987 Act may put an unjustified obstacle in the way of extradition in certain cases. What is being postulated is that some persons who are wanted for charges elsewhere may be found, or may arrive, unexpectedly in the State and that it might not be possible to obtain a provisional warrant until the Attorney General had considered the appropriate information and formed the opinion he is required to form under the Act. By that time the wanted person might well have evaded justice.

This suggestion is, of course, based on the fact that a provisional warrant was not obtained in the Fr. Ryan case, though I hasten to add that no speaker has suggested that such a course should have been adopted in that case. I have to be circumspect in what I say in response to this point both because it impinges on that individual case and because on the more general level it relates to matters that are within the province of the Attorney General's function under the 1987 Act. However, I can say that it would be unwise to draw any conclusions from the Fr. Ryan case about what might or might not happen in other cases in the matter of provisional warrants. That case had unique features which militated against the use of the provisional arrest procedure. An extradition application on the same charges had just been refused by the Belgian Government. There were indications that the grounds for that refusal included findings that the charges were too vague and did not meet relevant legal requirements.

The case was not, therefore, a simple one which the Attorney General could have examined in all its aspects and come to a decision upon within the period for which a person sought could have been held on foot of the provisional warrant procedure. During the period since Fr. Ryan's arrest in Belgium on 30 June last the British authorities made no preparations on a contingency basis for making an extradition request to this country, despite the notoriously high failure rate of extradition applications in all countries and their recent experience of failures in suspected terrorist cases in France and in the United States. In those two cases the same possibility of the person coming to Ireland had arisen and the experience which the British authorities had had of making preparations on a contingency basis in those cases should have made apparent the need for making such preparations in this case and for making them in adequate time.

There is also the technical point that the provisional warrant procedure applies only when the Garda do not have the original arrest warrant in their possession and when there is reason to believe that the person sought may be found in the State. In this case the original warrants were expected to arrive in this jurisdiction at or about the same time as the person sought arrived here, as it transpired, they arrived a few hours afterwards because the flight bringing them was delayed. In the circumstances, therefore, it would not have been appropriate to invoke the provisional warrant procedure in that case. Those circumstances were, however, quite exceptional. There would be no justification for assuming that similar considerations would apply in other cases where the question of a provisional arrest might arise.

It has also been suggested during this debate that the length of time for which a person may be held on foot of a provisional warrant might be extended from three days to some longer period. That is a matter which falls outside the scope of the motion before the House today and is appropriate for consideration in the context of reviewing the operation of Part III of the 1965 Act.

I wish to say a few words about the amendment to today's motion which was put down by the Leader of the Labour Party and ruled out of order by the Ceann Comhairle. I appreciate that this suggestion was motivated by a concern for the protection of the rights of persons whose extradition is sought and by an awareness of the need to have sufficient and effective safeguards. However, the Government could not have accepted the amendment, partly because it is simply unnecessary and partly because it seeks to pre-empt the kind of action that might be taken in the future if it transpired that the rights of the persons wanted for extradition were not being adequately protected.

Underlying the amendment which it was sought to introduce was an implication that the safeguards provided by the different Extradition Acts are inadequate. More specifically there was the implication that, in place of the requirement for the Attorney General to be satisfied that there is a clear intention to prosecute founded on sufficient evidence, provision should be made for a prima facie case to be proved in our courts.

To debate that suggestion again is in a sense to rehearse the arguments of a year ago. The Government decided in the context of the then Extradition (Amendment) Bill that such a course would not be the right one following a careful examination of all the issues involved. To have followed that course would have created obstacles which would represent an undue restriction on legitimate extradition requests. That still remains our view. The difficulties which would arise in relation to the establishment of a prima facie case in the District Court by foreign prosecution authorities outweigh any advantages that approach might have. Such a requirement would inevitably result in an increase in the delay and complication associated with extradition requests. Prosecuting authorities in a foreign jurisdiction would experience considerable difficulty in preparing a book of evidence that would comply with our court rules and procedures in the time span that would be available in such cases.

The Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987, provides an alternative safeguard which meets the very same public concerns which prompt those who suggest a prima facie case requirement but which meets those concerns without the associted problems that the latter requirement would have.

But behind closed doors.

The Act provides a safeguard which is workable and which has proved to be workable.

The new procedure involving the Attorney General which the 1987 Act provides requires, first, that he must be satisfied that there is a clear intention to prosecute the person sought and, second, that the intention is founded on the existence of a sufficiency of evidence. More generally, Deputies should not ignore the other safeguards which the various Extradition Acts provide. There is the provision relating to lapse of time and other exceptional circumstances also provided for in the 1987 Amendment Act.

Other safeguards include the requirement for the offence for which the person is sought to correspond to an offence under the law of this State which is an indictable offence. There is also, of course, the possibility of extradition being refused where there are substantial reasons for believing that the person sought will be prosecuted or detained for an offence other than that for which he is sought and which would not have been extraditable because of its political character or where there is reason to believe that the person is being sought for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinion or where his position would be prejudiced for any of these reasons. Taken together, these represent a comprehensive code of safeguards under which the Government is satisfied that the rights of the person whose extradition might be sought are protected.

I was asked about the making of an order under section 3 of the 1987 Amendment Act applying the rule of specialty to Part III of the 1965 Act. The position in that regard, as the Taoiseach has already indicated, is that I have yet to make an order under section 3. Such an order will require a corresponding amendment to the British backing of warrants legislation because the rule of specialty of its nature can operate only if such provision is made in the law of the requesting country. Discussions to this end are continuing at official level between the two sides. The fact that the provisions of the 1987 Act will no longer be subject to renewal after today's motion is passed will, of course, have a bearing on the question of the introduction of reciprocal provisions on the British side.

The fact that an order has not yet been made has not, however, given rise to any problem in practice. The administrative arrangements which were referred to in the Taoiseach's opening statement ensure that additional charges of a political nature will not be brought after extradition and that the specialty principle is observed. Those arrangements remain in place and I can assure the House that they are being adhered to in practice.

In addition there is of course the added safeguard contained in section 50 (2) (b) of the 1965 Act. Under that provision a person facing extradition to Britain or the North may apply to the High Court to have an order for his return set aside on the ground that there are substantial reasons for believing that he will be prosecuted or detained for a political offence.

Concern was expressed by a number of Deputies about the need to be satisfied that persons extradited from the State would receive a fair trial. In the more specific context of recent events and in the light of past experience, the concern that was being expressed was that the position of such persons would be affected by highly prejudicial stories in newspapers — what is commonly referred to as trial by media — and comment in other fora. It goes without saying that it is a matter of considerable concern to us that an extradited person should get a fair trial in the receiving state. With regard to the way in which the British press and other media choose to cover extradition applications, I would simply say that those who make and print such comment should know that it does nothing for Britain's reputation for justice and is inimical to the extradition process.

On the general question of the possible effect of prejudice, I have already mentioned that the Extradition Act, 1965, as amended by the Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1987, provides that extradition shall not be granted for an offence if there are substantial grounds for believing that a person's position would be prejudiced on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinion. The courts, therefore, have jurisdiction to refuse extradition in any case where they are satisfied that a person's position would be prejudiced on any of these grounds.

Deputy O'Malley's speech ranged over a wide area. In fact, he proposed major changes in the extradition area — not to mention a substitute procedure in place of extradition. With the greatest respect to the Deputy, these matters were not for debate here at all today. These are matters to be raised when the Government reports to the House on the operation of Part III of the 1965 Act early in the New Year. Today's debate is concerned only with whether the safeguards introduced in the 1987 Act should stay or should lapse. We can return to the wider issues raised by Deputy O'Malley when the Government's annual report on the operation of the extradition arrangements with Britain and the North, provided for in section 6 of the Act, is presented early next year.

There were those in the debate who favoured a more extended use of the option of extra-territorial prosecutions under the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act, 1976. The Government favours this approach. As the Taoiseach indicated, the record in cases where prosecutions have been taken under the Act is quite impressive. We are committed to exploring with the British Government the means by which greater recourse can be had to the 1976 Act and the parallel British legislation. Such a course indicates no weakening in our commitment to the extradition process. Rather it reflects a recognition by both Governments that extradition will not always be the optimum means for dealing with the problem of fugitive offenders and that the process of extradition does not necessarily represent the quickest or surest means of achieving justice in a particular case.

There will be cases in which an extra-territorial prosecution will be the appropriate response. The Government are firmly of the view that a greater use of the Act in a wider range of cases is both possible and desirable. The Government also believe that such a course would have the effect of creating an improved atmosphere for co-operation with our immediate neighbours.

Having said that, I would be less than forthcoming if I were to leave anybody under the impression that extra-territorial prosecutions might in some way replace extradition altogether. It has to be acknowledged that in certain types of cases trial in a jurisdiction other than the one in which the offence was committed will present practical difficulties. Beyond that it is also necessary to recognise the limits of what may be achieved under the 1976 Act. That Act makes it a criminal offence under our law for a person to commit in the North certain scheduled offences which, if committed within the State, would constitute an offence here. Those offences include murder, manslaughter, arson, kidnapping, firearms and explosives offences. The Act also makes certain explosives offences committed anywhere outside the State by an Irish citizen offences under Irish law. The choice between the extradition and an extra-territorial prosecution option will be determined in part, therefore, by whether a prosecution is possible here at all by virtue of the Act.

In conclusion, the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 1987 adds significant new safeguards to those which already exist under previous legislation. It is important that those new safeguards are preserved. That is the purpose of tonight's motion and I have no hesitation in commending it to the House.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 107.

  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Boland, John.
  • Boylan, Andrew.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Cooney, Patrick M.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • Deasy, Austin.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Enright, Thomas.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Paddy.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Higgins, Jim.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael (Limerick East).
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, P.J.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeleine.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Abbott, Henry.
  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Dermot.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Matthew.
  • Brennan, Séamus.
  • Browne, John.
  • Burke, Ray.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Clohessy, Peadar.
  • Colley, Anne.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Coughlan, Mary T.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Davern, Noel.
  • Dempsey, Noel.
  • Dennehy, John.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lynch, Michael.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCartan, Pat.
  • McCoy, John S.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McDowell, Michael.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Mooney, Mary.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M. J.
  • Noonan, Michael J.
  • (Limerick West).
  • O'Dea, William Gerard.
  • O'Donoghue, John.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Batt.
  • O'Keeffe, Ned.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond J.
  • de Valera, Síle.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Fahey, Frank.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
  • Flood, Chris.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat the Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Gibbons, Martin.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Hilliard, Colm Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Jacob, Joe.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • Kennedy, Geraldine.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Kitt, Tom.
  • Lawlor, Liam.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • O'Malley, Pat.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Quill, Máirín.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Roche, Dick.
  • Sherlock, Joe.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Stafford, John.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Swift, Brian.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wright, G. V.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies J. Higgins and Boylan; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and D. Ahern.
Amendment declared lost.

The question is: "That the motion in the name of the Minister for Justice be agreed."

Question put.

I must call attention to the demonstration in the Public Gallery.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 95; Níl, 59.

  • Abbott, Henry.
  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Dermot.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Matthew.
  • Brennan, Séamus.
  • Browne, John.
  • Burke, Ray.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Clohessy, Peadar.
  • Colley, Anne.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Coughlan, Mary T.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • Kennedy, Geraldine.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Kitt, Tom.
  • Lawlor, Liam.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lynch, Michael.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCartan, Pat.
  • McCoy, John S.
  • McDowell, Michael.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Mooney, Mary.
  • Morley, P. J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M. J.
  • Noonan, Michael J.
  • (Limerick West).
  • O'Dea, William Gerard.
  • O'Donoghue, John.
  • Davern, Noel.
  • Dempsey, Noel.
  • Dennehy, John.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • de Valera, Síle.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Fahey, Frank.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
  • Flood, Chris.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat the Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Gibbons, Martin Patrick.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Hilliard, Colm Michael.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Jacob, Joe.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Batt.
  • O'Keeffe, Ned.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond J.
  • O'Malley, Pat.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Quill, Máirín.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Roche, Dick.
  • Sherlock, Joe.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Stafford, John.
  • Swift, Brian.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wright, G. V.
  • Wyse, Pearse.

Níl

  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Blaney, Neil Terence.
  • Boland, John.
  • Boylan, Andrew.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • Deasy, Austin.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Enright, Thomas.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Gregory, Tony.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Paddy.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Higgins, Jim.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael
  • (Limerick East).
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, P.J.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeleine.
  • Yates, Ivan.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies V. Brady and D. Ahern; Níl, Deputies J. Higgins and Boylan.
Question declared carried.

Since the musical chairs have now finished, I would ask the House to pass unanimously the view to Mrs. Thatcher that we will not go priest hunting under the Extradition Act.