Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Gibraltar Inquest.

17.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he is taking steps to carry out an investigation on behalf of the Government into recent statements made by certain Spanish officials and others, which appear to contradict the testimony given at the Gibraltar inquest.

20.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the Government intend to take the British Government to the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of the killing of three IRA members in Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

28.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the light of recent indications, when he intends to publish the report prepared for the Government by their representative at the Gibraltar inquest.

31.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will give details of the recent developments in connection with the Gibraltar inquest and, in particular, the fact that a statement given to the Gibraltar inquest by a senior Spanish police officer (details supplied) has now been renounced by him; if he will raise this matter with the British Government with a request for a judicial inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 20, 28 and 31 together.

The question of publishing the report of the Government's observer in some edited or condensed form is under consideration.

I am aware of reports in the media concerning the question of a statement by Spanish officials and a police officer. These reports have been the subject of diplomatic contacts and are under review together with all other important aspects of this matter.

In relation to Deputy Gregory's question, the matter is being examined.

Does the Minister accept that three Irish persons were summarily executed by the SAS in the full knowledge that they were unarmed, that this act was carried out on the direct orders of the British Government and that, consequently, this matter should be taken to the Court of Human Rights by the Government?

As I said earlier, that matter is under examination. The Government have carried out an investigation — and are still making inquiries — because, as the Deputy knows, the matter is ongoing and there have been numerous reports, including one in today's newspapers, in relation to the subject. I share the anxiety that has been expressed by many Deputies in the House in regard to this matter and I can assure them that the Government are taking their anxieties into consideration.

Will the report being prepared advert to all the happenings after the formal inquest and incorporate an observation, for example, on the fact that a senior participant in the inquest has withdrawn his statement?

The report is that of an observer who was at the trial and will probably just contain references to the trial.

Does the Minister of State agree that it is a little farcical to confine the report to the inquest if the integrity of the procedures has been called into question by a senior witness who has since recanted on his statement given at the inquest? Would it not be in the interests of this House and the public if the report now being prepared dealt with events subsequent to the inquest as well as the formal proceedings of an inquest which is now very much under suspicion in terms of its integrity?

I wish to assure the Deputy that all aspects of this extremely important matter are under consideration. In relation to the many reports, we have made diplomatic contacts with others and the matters concerned are all being considered by the Government. I will certainly place the Deputy's concerns before the Government.

In effect, the Minister of State is saying the same as the Taoiseach at the last Question Time on Foreign Affairs — that the Government would consider publishing a summary of the report of the Irish representative on the trial. Will the Minister of State indicate when this consideration will conclude?

No, I am unable to say when consideration will conclude. I should like to remind the Deputy that the Taoiseach said it was not the normal practice to publish such reports but that since there was validity in Deputy Barry's comments he would reconsider the matter of publishing. He also said that the full report might not be published because of its length but that he would consider publishing an edited or condensed version.