Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill, 1975: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."
Debate resumed on the following amendment:
To omit all words after "That" and substitute the following:—
"Seanad Éireann declines to give a second reading to the Bill on the grounds that it contains no provision for an all-Ireland Court, is unworkable, inconsistent with Ireland's obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, and repugnant to the Constitution, in that it contravenes Articles 3 and 38."
—(Senator Lenihan)

I am sorry that Senator Quinlan has to suffer a speech and has to wait. Surely he can now realise how many of his colleagues felt down through the years when Fianna Fáil were in Government and he was delivering long speeches of denunciation against them. Of course we know that since Senator Quinlan's party has come into office he is not as interested in making speeches of this kind.

The Minister for Justice must tell this House and the people how he can claim that the rights and safeguards provided for the accused will be the same in the Six Counties as they are here. It is absolutely essential that the Minister for Justice look into his crystal ball and explain to the people how this guarantee can be given. In the event of it becoming obvious that the rights and safeguards of the accused in the Six Counties are not the same as in the Republic, the Minister for Justice must also tell us what he is going to do about it. In what way can the Government insist that this guarantee given by the Government is fully implemented? We all know from past experience that guarantees of this nature have not been lived up to. A serious situation will develop here if it is clearly established beyond a shadow of doubt that the accused under this Bill or similar legislation in the Six Counties is not getting the same amount of fair play as similar accused in this part of the country. Will the Government be able to do anything about it? Will Mr. Wilson be as amendable then to this Government as he was when he was persuading them to draw up this legislation? I do not think so.

We are told that the commissioner when he has his sittings to take evidence in the Six Counties will have these sittings in private. I would like to know why should important sittings of this kind—sittings which, naturally create public interest and, in the interests of fair play and justice, should be revealed to all the people here— should be held in private. On this side of the Border the Bill provides that the commissioner will arrange his sittings to facilitate the presence of witnesses and to comply with any requests by the members of the court to put particular questions to the witness.

Again, I want to know, in the similar case in Belfast, will similar facilities be given? Will those brave judges who leave this city and travel to Belfast, under the protection of the RUC and the UDR, most of whom are ex-B-Specials, to listen to the evidence being taken by the commissioner, be given the opportunity of asking whatever questions they wish to ask? Will these questions be made public? Will the safety of those judges be absolutely guaranteed and, if guaranteed, can we accept such a guarantee? Can we accept that if the British Government say: "Send your judges up to Belfast to attend this commission and even though they may ask these witnesses some awkard questions, some very embarrassing questions, you can rest assured that the ex-B-Specials who are protecting them will see to it that no injury comes to them"?

I believe that the judges who travel to Belfast in such circumstances could be classified as very brave people indeed.

We are told that the accused will have the right to question the witnesses and to make submissions or representations as to the admissibility of any evidence. But at such a hearing in Belfast, in the event of the accused suggesting that certain evidence is not admissible, who determines whether this should be admitted or not? The judge of the Six-Counties High Court? A judge like Mr. Justice McDermott, who could not see that the soldier who murdered Patrick McElhone behaved in anything but a reasonable manner? This is the type of procedure that will take place following the passage of this Bill.

We are also told that provision is made for the return of the accused both from Belfast and from Dublin. They assume, of course, the unlikely event of an accused person opting to go to the Six Counties for this hearing. We assume that Her Majesty's Government have given this Government all the necessary guarantees that that accused person would be well protected while in custody and that the ex-B-Specials who are protecting him will ensure that nothing will happen to him. We are also told that a person arrested on this side may opt to return to the Six Counties and stand trial. Here again we have the example of the type of individual that this legislation is directed at. It is quite obvious that anyone whose sympathies lie with a 32-county Ireland, if caught on this side of the Border will not opt to stand trial in the Six Counties. He would much prefer standing trial in the Republic. It is also obvious that if a member of the Protestant Action Force, who boasts of the murder of seven Catholics, was being sought in the Six Counties for these hideous crimes, he would not cross the Border. So, in fact, this legislation in no way affects groups such as the Protestant Action Force. As far as they are concerned, they can murder away, blow up all in front of them on either side of the Border, and this legislation will not affect them. If they commit an offence here and return across the Border they will be well protected by the RUC and the UDR. So it seems obvious to me that this legislation is only meant to deal with one section of the community. Where a person is brought into court, having opted for a trial in the Six Counties but escaped from custody there, the escape may be proved by a certificate of authority from someone from whose custody the person concerned escaped or before whom he failed to appear. Are we not displaying tremendous confidence in the Six-County authorities who, for 50 years or more, have blatantly and shamefully denied basic democratic justice to a large section of its population? Suddenly members of this Government behave as if they wish to canonise them all. They are now prepared to accept a certificate of authority, not a witness in the court, a simple scrap of paper, to suggest that someone had escaped from custody in the Six Counties or that he had failed to appear at the hearing people had crossed the border to attend. Suddenly, this Government are prepared to accept anything from the authorities in the Six Counties.

This Government have a duty to give headlines to the small print in this legislation, because anyone reading the small print must admit that it contains many obnoxious sections which would be completely unacceptable to the people. The Bill provides, in applying to certain acts done in the Six Counties, that the absence of any licence or other authority requisite under the law of the Six Counties will give rise to the suggestion that possession is not for a lawful purpose. We should give this matter very serious consideration before agreeing to it. If a member of a Loyalist para-military group is stopped by a Garda patrol car and is found to have a gun in his possession or in his car, and if he produces a certificate from the Six-County authorities which suggests that he is a member of a gun club and accordingly, is one of the 100,000 who hold licences, the Garda apparently under this legislation, will look at that licence and send that member of the para-military group on his way. It would appear that the National Coalition Government not alone condones the holding by members of Loyalist para-military groups of licensed guns in the Six Counties but they will allow these people to carry those same guns here in the Republic. No other inference can be taken from what is contained in the explanatory memorandum. In the absence of any licence or other authority requisite under the law of the Six Counties the only inference that can be taken is that it is not for a lawful purpose. In the event of a member of the para-military group having such documents in his possession no law would be broken on this side of the Border. In other words, the National Coalition Government and those who support this Bill are saying clearly and categorically to the people of Ireland that not alone do they not object to the 100,000 licensed guns in the Six Counties but they are now giving them a licence to carry those guns in the Republic. That is what one is voting for in this legislation. That is what one is supporting. That is why I say that anyone who supports this legislation is guilty of gross collaboration with the British Government and the Loyalist para-military groups in the Six Counties.

It is time the members of the Fine Gael Party learned from the mistakes of history. They must realise that the greatest mistake their founders made was their implicit faith in what British statesmen said. Before supporting this Bill the Fine Gael Party particularly —because Labour did not make this mistake—should reread our history and compare the antics of the British Government on Sunningdale with their antics on the Treaty and the Constitution that followed. The British Government refused to agree that Ireland should ever be neutral. The Free Staters of that time co-operated with them. Fortunately for the Irish people the Free Staters were in Opposition when the war broke out.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

That is not relevant to this Bill.

Fianna Fáil made Churchill eat his words as I believe Fianna Fáil——

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I have already told the Senator that that is not in order.

I believe that in the not-too-distant future Fianna Fáil will make those people who lauded this legislation today and during the last few days, eat their words too. We have listened to Sunningdale. We have listened to the forecast of the Taoiseach. We were told that there were no losers at Sunningdale. We were told all about the Council of Ireland. The poor, innocent Taoiseach went to Sunningdale and made the same mistake another Government made, that another Cabinet made in London, ironically enough that Cabinet included a Cosgrave, an O'Higgins and a FitzGerald.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

On the Bill, please.

The Taoiseach allowed himself to be "conned" by the British Government to such an extent that he has put on record the amount or the substance of how he was "conned". He claimed innocently enough that there were no winners or losers at Sunningdale. Of course there were winners. The British Government and the Loyalists in the Six Counties were the winners. Of course, there were losers—the people of this country.

In conclusion, with all the talk of Sunningdale we have now discovered that the Sunningdale cow pitched its calf, leaving nothing but the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill as afterbirth.

I am not one of those who deny that on the Opposition benches there are men of considerable integrity, experience and ability. We recognise that the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Yeats, and Senator Ryan are men who would grace any political party in the State. I sympathise with those Senators and the Senators in Fianna Fáil who have approached this Bill from the point of view outlined by Senators Lenihan and Ryan in moving the amendment to the Second Reading of the Bill. They have been disgraced by the performance to which we have been subjected by the previous speaker. We have been subjected to our own brand of Paisleyism for the past day and a half. I am appalled that such a speech could have been made in either House of the Oireachtas by any Member for whatever reason. Paisleyism is as detestable to me in the green variety as it is in the orange. It is even more detestable when it comes clothed in green from one in my community. Then I am answerable for it, I am responsible for it. I condemn it and will oppose it whenever it manifests itself as it has done here today.

I have often wondered about the real nature of republicanism. I believe that when you strip it down it is no more than nationalism. In some countries nationalism masquerades as monarchy because to be a monarchist is to be the best nationalist. In other countries to be a nationalist is to be a fascist. In this country the name republican is really a synonym for a nationalist. The danger in nationalism is, however, that it finds something wrong in other forms of nationalism and as a result I have just heard from Senator McGlinchey nothing but a stream of hatred, particularly directed——

On a point of order, I feel the Labour Party should come and listen to Senator Halligan.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

That is not a point of order.

I am drawing the Chair's attention to the lack of a quorum.

Notice taken that 12 Members were not present; House counted, and 12 Members being present,

It is typical of the contempt in which Senator McGlinchey holds the House that having held up the proceedings for so long, he then calls for a quorum and promptly leaves. I was saying that at the root of much of what constitutes republicanism there is nothing more than a detestation of things and persons English. What is more serious and more sinister it is allied with a detestation of things and persons Protestant on this island. No ideology and no philosophy based solely on opposition and hatred and in negative feelings and characterisics can offer any hope for anything of a positive nature. I again repeat my sympathy for the Senators of the Fianna Fáil Party who in good faith put down the reason for opposing the Second Reading of the Bill as contained in the amendment on the Order Paper. These reasons have been abandoned and republicanism has won.

As I said on the First Reading of the Bill, things were said which were regretted later in the cold light of day. The Leader of the Opposition went on radio and regretted some of the things which were said in his absence. That Senator may well find himself in the same position again. I regretted when the Bill was introduced in the Seanad that the moral authority of the Leader of the Opposition was absent. Had it been present some of the dogs of war, which were loosed on that occasion, might have been muzzled or at least made to obey some sense of discipline. But the damage has been done and there is no longer any point in Senators Lenihan, Ryan and Yeats coming into the House saying that the reason they are opposing the Bill is on constitutional grounds. We have heard the real voice of Fianna Fáil in Senator McGlinchey and in Senator Killilea and in Senator Dolan. They have given the reasons why the Bill is being opposed.

We all know that for any course of action there are good reasons which are plausible and defensible and which can constitute a good public relations cover for something that it in reality indefensible and sometimes even quite despicable. When I heard the Leader of the Opposition opening their contribution I welcomed that momentary reversal to the position that they were opposing the Bill on constitutional grounds, that they were in favour of dealing with fugitive offenders, but that they were simply opposed to the method whereby this problem could be solved. I knew this was to some extent a polite fiction. We all knew on this side of the House that his speech constituted no more than a polite political fiction, that it was not in fact the real reason why Fianna Fáil were opposing the Bill. But it was at least preferable to the type of language and arguments that were employed on the First Reading of the Bill.

Alas, that responsible posture by Fianna Fáil has been more momentary and more temporary than I had feared because they have reverted back so far to old attitudes that we have, as I said in the First Reading, begun to fight the civil war all over again. We have heard the same type of argument, the same type of accusation, the same type of slander and libel being hurled across the floor of this House as were employed 50 years ago. We heard a type of language which many of us had hoped was dead and buried for ever. It is deplorable that those old prejudices should be voiced here not alone in a one or two hour speech but in one that has occuppied a day and a half. That speech contains the real reason for Fianna Fáil's opposition to this Bill as distinct from the good reasons which appear on the Order Paper.

The real reason is that there resides within a great many people an equivocation towards those who use violence and who, in addition, use this State as a base for violent operations in Northern Ireland. The real reason is that so many people have nothing more than a hatred of another country and of its people. This Bill has laid bare a raw nerve. It has put its finger on an attitude which is covered up most of the time in civilised language and supposedly civilised attitudes. Its principal crime is to bring into the light of day certain things which are necessary if peace and reconciliation are to exist on this island, such as co-operation with Protestants and with the British Government. There are people who protest their love of their fellow-countrymen in the North of Ireland, who want to unite with them and who yet refuse to take a course of action that would express that love and would give meaning to their desire for reconciliation. This Bill proposes such a course of action. The implications of section 2 make this clear.

If murder is committed by killing a soldier in Dundalk then under this Bill it is also murder to kill a soldier in Newry. If murder is committed by killing a policeman in Dublin, then under this Bill it is also murder to kill a policeman in Belfast. The Bill no longer permits a distinction between certain crimes committed in one part of this island and the same crime committed in another part. That distinction is intolerable and it must be brought to an end. That is why the provisions of this Bill are, to some people, unforgiveable and unacceptable. For some the real reason for opposing this Bill, as distinct from the good reasons which we heard eloquently from Senators Lenihan and Ryan, is that it wants this distinction brought to an end. Murder, wherever it is committed, for whatever reason, by whichever person, will be described as murder if this Bill is passed and those responsible for it will be apprehended in any part of the country, brought to trial and if found guilty punished. That is why it is being opposed.

It is around this principle that the central argument will revolve in this debate. When that principle is accepted the argument shifts to the area of how to translate that principle into law. That is the secondary aspect of the Bill but its primary concern is to establish that not only do we reject violence committed in Northern Ireland but we also reject the use of this State as a base for mounting violence within the North. We further reject the use of this State as a haven or sanctuary for those who have committed crimes in Northern Ireland so that they can escape the consequences of the law and go free.

We must admit that the Republic is a haven and a sanctuary at present for those who have committed certain acts of violence in the North. They can claim political immunity here. It leads to a situation where, for example, a person responsible for robbing £20 in a bank in Belfast, who flees to Dublin can be extradited on a warrant from the RUC, returned to that police force under our law, brought before a Northern court, tried, found guilty and sentenced to prison in Northern Ireland. If that person robs £20,000 from a bank in Belfast and kills in the process the cashier and flees to Dublin he can avoid extradition if he claims his crime was politically motivated. The first person can be tried and punished if found guilty; the second person can go free and remain at large indefinitely in the Republic. This is an intolerable situation and one which I, in common with a lot of people, find abnoxious. I am appalled that there are some who believe that we should be coerced, forced, bribed or tricked into eliminating this gross anomaly and this serious defect in our system of law and indeed of common justice and humanity.

I have been outraged by the allegation that we should seek aquid pro quo for this legislation in order to bring fugitive offenders to justice. The quid pro quo argument has been employed by both Senators Lenihan and Ryan. As far as I am concerned, even if there had been no Sunningdale, there would still be an obligation on us to punish those guilty of murder, arson, kidnap, hijacking and burglary. It is never untimely to deal with those who have committed serious and heinous crimes. I am astounded by Senator Lenihan's allegation that this Bill was untimely. It reminds me of St. Augustine in his Confessions praying: “Lord make me pure, but not now.” Lord let us deal with those people, but not now. Lord make us just, but not now. It is not timely. Well, it is always timely to deal with those who take other people's lives, who injure them and maim them.

There are those who claim that the contents of this Bill are repressive. This vile slander seems a perfect example of a conscious exercise in Orwellian language. I have seen posters on walls in Dublin of 16 men and beneath the picture there is a statement: "These men are killing peace." They are the 15 members of the Cabinet and the Attorney General. The Provisional IRA are responsible for putting those posters on walls. Five of those men in that picture are my comrades in the Labour Party. Eleven of them are my friends in the Fine Gael Party. Is it not a strange irony that the dictum of Goebbels should be borne out in our country—if you want to tell a lie it is best to tell a big one. Those who oppress say that the oppressed are the oppressors. Those who repress say that the repressed are the repressors. Those who murder put themselves forward as men of peace. Those who are elected by the people and who abide by the people's will are classified as murderers, as being engaged in a conspiracy to commit murder, as being responsible for crime and violence.

Those who engage in this type of language, who classify my five comrades in Cabinet as men of violence are precisely the same type who would describe the contents of this Bill as repressive. There is the same use of language, meaning is stood on its head. Language is given the contrary meaning to that which it has in normal everyday usage. The argument that this Bill is repressive is a contemptible argument. It is employed only by those who have an emotional sympathy with the Provisional IRA and by those who openly or privately share an attitude which says it is okay to kill a soldier so long as it is a British soldier; it is okay to kill a policeman so long as it is an RUC man; it is okay to kill a workman so long as it is a Protestant workman; it is okay to kill a judge so long as it is a Northern Ireland judge, like Martin McBirney, who was a comrade of mine in the Northern Ireland Labour Party.

It is never okay to kill anybody. That is the message that must go out from this House and from the other House of the Oireachtas. Until we can get rid of the idea that some kinds of murder are privileged, there will never be peace on this island. To some, UDA violence and murder will be privileged. To others, IRA murder and violence will be privileged. To some others, British Army violence and murder will be privileged. Each faction protects itself with its own set of excuses. We all say: "We will not do anything with our murderers until you do something with your murderers."

The IRA are our murderers and we have got to do something about them. They commit murder in our name, in the name of the 32-county Irish Republic. The UDA does not commit murder in that name, and neither does the British Army when it commits murder, as it has done. But the IRA commits murder in our name. Without being asked or bribed by anybody, without being coerced or tripped by anybody, we have got to do something about these murderers simply because it is right, simply because it is the only way towards reconciliation and simply because it is a Christian thing—if that is a permissible consideration in this debate. Perhaps it is no longer a permissible argument on this island.

For us in the Labour Party, this is something we must do because it is the socialist thing to do. Who ever heard of socialists condoning murder by one faction of the working class against members of another faction, whether classified as defence or retaliation or revenge? I do not care what the motives are. Murder is murder. Above all people, socialists preach peace, unity and brotherhood in the face of the most intransigent hatred and violence. That is the socialist creed. A great many crimes are committed in its name which have as much connection with socialism as Hitler's national socialism.

The IRA with its two factions—or is it now three factions?—is a fascist organisation waging war on another section of the working class. The UDA is a fascist organisation waging war on another section of the working class. Each faction of the IRA and of the UDA wage war on the other factions in a Chicago-type gangsterism, a revolting and sickening spectacle that has humiliated and degraded us in the eyes of the world. Socialists when they are truly socialists are pacifists. Socialists do not condone, engage in, or associate with violence, particularly political violence, of which they have so often, in the history of mankind, been the victims. They do not support those who use violence in an organised fashion for political ends.

The policy in this country in respect of fugitive offenders must be that as set down, at a recent meeting of the British and Irish Council of Churches in Newcastle, County Down, and reported on April 28th, 1975, inThe Irish Times. They state in a communiqué:

Abhorring as we do, all acts of violence, and especially the continuing sectarian and other murders, we emphasise the urgency of bringing to justice those who commit crimes of violence, including murder, however motivated, irrespective of where they seek sanctuary or are apprehended. We recognise that this requires not only the efforts of the police but the co-operation of the public in spite of the personal danger that this may entail.

That is the right philosophy for this State and for the people of the country. It is the philosophy of my party, which is committed to peace and reconciliation. It abhors and detests violence no matter in whose name it is committed or in which cause. My party will support this Bill as it will support other Government Bills and measures. There is no difference between the Bill and other Government Bills in this respect and I want to make this clear, without the slightest equivocation.

Do we give sanctuary to those who have committed crimes in Northern Ireland, in some cases crimes of the most heinous type? If we refuse to give them sanctuary do we extradite them to Northern Ireland or do we apprehend them here in our own jurisdiction and punish them if found guilty? That seems to be the kernel of this debate. One can either permit the fugitive offender to go free or else decide to take action. If one says, as Fianna Fáil through its Leader, Senator Lenihan, have said, that they do not want them to go free, then one has to take action.

The action can be either extradition or it can be a trial. Extradition for good and valid reasons has been ruled out, although Senator Robinson had a very interesting contribution to make on this point. If one is going to act then one of the two alternatives is already ruled out—extradition. Therefore there has to be a trial. We know now that if it is going to be a trial it can be one of three types, before three different types of court. It can be an all-Ireland court, a mixed court or a court with extra-territorial jurisdiction. If we agree without equivocation that we are not going to provide a sanctuary for fugitive offenders from Northern Ireland then at the end we are faced with the question of which type of court we require if we have ruled out extradition as an alternative. That in a nutshell is the issue before us in this Bill.

Fianna Fáil say in their amendment that the Irish Republic cannot have resort to one of these three trial alternatives, the extra-territorial method, because they claim that under Article 3 of the Constitution the Irish Republic has deprived itself of the capacity to grant itself extra-territorial jurisdiction. So we end in a situation where we cannot extradite and we cannot exercise extra-territorial jurisdiction whereby these people can be brought to justice under this Bill. So we cannot do anything— except an all-Ireland court, which we all know is a political impossibility since the Loyalists will not co-operate in its establishment. Thus Fianna Fáil can say: "It is not our fault that we cannot do anything about fugitive offenders." So they have the best of both worlds. They want to do something, but they cannot do it, on the one hand, because of the Constitution and, on the other because of the intransigence of the Loyalists. So the murderers go free in Dublin because of somebody else's fault but not theirs.

The Fianna Fáil argument in respect of Article 3 is to me absolutely and totally spurious. It is in effect saying that the Irish Republic under Article 3 of its Constitution is denied any extra-territorial effect in its own laws. That view is not expressed in Article 3 and, as Senator Alexis FitzGerald has pointed out, Article 3 refers specifically to the extra-territorial effect of the State's laws which is an effect similar to that of Saorstát Éireann.

We all know that Article 3 of the present Constitution was simply employed to define the territorial juridiction of the State with the minimum amount of political damage to the Government party of the day, which did not want to admit explicitly that the territorial jurisdiction of the State was in fact laid down by section 12 of the Treaty and the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. That was the purpose of its complicated wording and it did not profess to exclude the State from the internationally accepted capacity to have extra-territorial jurisdiction, which is a principle in international law. I believe the Irish Republic and the Irish Free State had that capacity from the moment of their formation and I do not believe that the Republic has voluntarily deprived itself of that right by virtue of Article 3 of the Constituation.

I think it is critically important that we nail this particular allegation so that Fianna Fáil in the last analysis are going to be left without any constitutional justification whatsoever for opposing this Bill. To that end, on the question of extra-territorial jurisdiction, I intend to make reference to one of the standard works on the subject—International Law (Volume Two) by D.P. O'Connell, 1970, published by Stevens and Sons. I wish to refer to page 601, where reference is made to a decision of the International Court in a case between the French and the Turkish Governments. It reads:

The form in which the issue was submitted required the International Court to state whether or not the principles of international law prevented Turkey from instituting criminal proceedings against the French officer.

In other words, the Court was not asked to decide if there was an international law rule authorising Turkey to take these proceedings, but if there was any rule prohibiting it—the reversal of the usual format. The Court began with some observations on the territoriality of jurisdiction, saying:

"it cannot be exercised by a State outside its territory except by virtue of a permissive rule derived from international custom or from a convention. It does not, however, follow that international law prohibits a State from exercising jurisdiction in its own territory, in respect of any case which relates to acts which have taken place abroad, and in which it cannot rely on some permissive rule of international law."

The Court, then, arrived at the proposition that there is no general rule of international law prohibiting altogether the application of law and the jurisdiction of courts to persons, property and acts extra-territorial. There is, on the contrary, a wide discretion allowed States in this respect. The most that can be said is that there are limitations to this extension. "Though it is true that in all systems of law the principle of the territorial character of criminal law is fundamental, it is equally true that all or nearly all of these systems of law extend their action to offences committed outside the territory of the State which adopts them, and they do so in ways which very from State to State. The territoriality of criminal law, therefore, is not an absolute principle of international law and by no means coincides with territorial sovereignty."

It is interesting that Senator Ryan and Senator Lenihan, engaging in the exercise of propagating the good reasons for opposing this Bill, had reference to Article 3 of the Constitution and made the claim that it denied any extra-territoriality to the legislation of the Republic. Senator FitzGerald in his contribution made reference to the Extradition Act when rebutting their arguments and in particular to section 38 (1), which in many ways is worded almost equivalently to section 2 (1) of this Bill. As section 38 (1) of the Extradition Act is constitutional then I submit that section 2 (1) of this Bill is also constitutional; and if section 38 (1) of the Extradition Act is unconstitutional then so is section 2 (1) of the Bill. The only interesting thing about this analogy is that the man who introduced not only section 38 (1) but the whole of the Extradition Act in 1965 was Senator Lenihan, as Minister for Justice. So, if Senator Lenihan's section is constitutional, so is section 2 (1) of this Bill.

I think that Senator Robinson's observations on the claim of Fianna Fáil that Article 3 of the Constitution is any way an obstacle to the passage of this Bill is one that should be listened to. I was particularly struck by the dismissive attitude which she took in dispatching their argument. It was almost as if she did not believe their case was one worthy of argument, and I agree with her.

As regards Article 38, which is also advanced as a good reason for opposing the Bill, then if that too makes this Bill repugnant to the Constitution I suspect it is going to make many past Acts of this State illegal. Article 38.3 states that Special Courts, which will operate under this Bill, "may be established by law for the trial of offences in cases where it may be determined in accordance with such law that the ordinary courts are inadequate", my own emphasis, "to secure the effective administration of justice." I wholeheartedly support the analysis of Senator FitzGerald in respect of the claim of Fianna Fáil that Article 38 provides a constitutional barrier to this legislation. It expressly permits special courts when the effective administration of justice is otherwise in doubt.

I believe that Articles 3 and 38 of the Constitution have been thrown by Fianna Fáil into this debate merely as window dressing in an attempt to cover up an extremely bad case which, as I have suggested earlier, resides in quite a different area of politics than one of constitutional probity. As I suggested, their opposition has arisen because they cannot come to grips with the sinister influences of our history and of some of our own worst national instincts, such as our hatred of the English and our suspicion of the Northern Protestant. I do not believe Fianna Fáil's constitutional arguments hold the slightest merit or weight whatsoever and I believe they will be quickly and swiftly abandoned by them as the debate progresses.

On the other hand, I admit there can be arguments about the practicality and the workability of the method in respect of taking evidence which is laid down in this Bill. If one incorporates into a Bill the principle of extra-territoriality then clearly the ability of a court to have witnesses from outside the jurisdiction is fundamental to its operation. In fact it is stated in the Law Enforcement Commission Report that the presence of witnesses at these trials is desirable and must be made possible in every conceivable way. But, facing up to the realities of the situation as they exist on this island at this moment, it may not be possible to get witnesses to cross the Border and attend a trial. Therefore the commission proposed, and the Government have adopted their suggestion, that evidence be taken on commission. I think it important therefore in evaluating Fianna Fáil's amendment to have regard to paragraph 22 of the Law Enforcement Commission's Report, which states:

... we recognise that without compellable attendance of witnesses and compulsory production of documents and exhibits there may (all too frequently) be no effective trial. To meet the difficulty we have considered two possible courses:

(a) Empowering the court itself to request that the evidence of a witness or witnesses specified in the request be taken in the other jurisdiction by a commissioner;

(b) or empowering the court to request that the evidence of a witness or witnesses specified in the request be taken on commission in the presence of the members of the court by a High Court judge of the jurisdiction of the place where the offence was committed.

In paragraph 25 they state—

"We are therefore of the opinion that a more satisfactory and just method of taking evidence on commission is the one outlined in paragraph 22 (b)".

——from which I have just quoted——

In the absence of a jury, this should not create any very great difficulty. Furthermore the method would have the advantage that members of the court could not only observe the demeanour of a witness but also be empowered to request the commissioner to direct questions towards any particular point. Here again, it would be possible for an accused person to be represented by counsel or a solicitor and for the commissioner to adjourn the taking of evidence if the interests of justice so required to enable the accused to give instructions with a view to cross examination, but with the added advantage that the examination or cross examination would take place in the presence of the members of the court. Questions as to the admissibility of particular evidence would be noted by the commissioner and later ruled upon by the resumed trial.

I believe that single paragraph meets many of the objections which have been raised by Senator Lenihan and particularly by Senator Ryan in respect of the commission procedure in the Bill. The argument has been put here in a most persuasive and compelling fashion by the Law Enforcement Commission which included two men who are themselves members of our Supreme Court and by one other who subsequent to the writing of this report was raised to the bench. I believe their argument to be conclusive.

We are then left in the Fianna Fáil amendment with the question of an all-Ireland court. The procedure for an all-Ireland court, which has not yet been argued with any conviction or in any detail or with any force by the Fianna Fáil Party, would be extremely complicated and cumbersome. It would require, for example, as the Law Enforcement Commission Report states on page 12:

...the creation of a special uniform code of substantive law and legal procedure to deal with politically motivated crimes of violence....

Furthermore, it goes on to state that the setting up of such a court would require amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. I believe it would require amendment of Article 3 of the Constitution. I wonder whether Fianna Fáil are serious in coming in here and saying that they support a course of action which will require amendment of Article 3 of the Constitution when we all know that the All-Party Committee on the Constitution is deadlocked on precisely this issue because Fianna Fáil will not agree to a rewording of Article 3 of the Constitution.

If there is to be an all-Ireland court then the all-Ireland court will involve Northern Ireland judges. It will sit sometimes in Northern Ireland. It will require the involvement of the Northern legal administration. It will require the use of policemen wearing the uniform which will have been given to them by an authority in Belfast deriving its authority from London. It will be open to precisely the same type of criticism that Senator McGlinchey has spewed out for the last day and a half against the provisions of this Bill.

Are we going to have an all-Ireland court that is somehow magically confined only to the Twenty-six Counties? An all-Ireland court means precisely what it says—a court for all Ireland— and people will be tried in Belfast just as they would be tried in Dublin or in Cork or in Derry under that court. Let us not kid ourselves. If they are tried in Belfast or in Derry under an all-Ireland court they are sitting in Northern Ireland which is still going to be part of the United Kingdom.

Or is it suggested, although I have not yet heard it suggested, that the all-Ireland court is in itself contingent upon the ending of Partition and on the happy day when Ireland is united? If it is not so contended then let us have an end of the nonsense that an all-Ireland court is not going to sit in Northern Ireland which is going to be no different constitutionally from the way it is now. The Union Jack will still fly in Belfast when the all-Ireland court sits there, just as it flies there now. The ultimate authority for any police force from the North before that court will be the Parliament at Westminster and the ultimate authority of the Northern Ireland judges in that court will be the Parliament at Westminster and the ultimate authority for the prison officers who put people in prison in the North as a result of its judgment and who keep them there will be the Parliament at Westminster, just as it is now.

Are Fianna Fáil serious about this? Have they some second thoughts about Article 3? If they have I think we should hear them. They are entitled to that, if the all-Ireland court is put down as a serious way of dealing with the problem of fugitive offenders. If, as Senator Lenihan says, Fianna Fáil want to have fugitive offenders apprehended and if Fianna Fáil are putting forward the all-Ireland court as a feasible alternative to the principle of extra-territorial jurisdiction, then we had better hear it spelled out as to whether they are prepared to amend Article 3 of the Constitution and whether they are prepared to use Northern judges, the RUC and Northern prisons in the working of that court.

According to Senator McGlinchey, they are not. If Senator McGlinchey is speaking with the real voice of Fianna Fáil, then what Senator Lenihan is saying is no more than a fraud. We should not be subjected to it any further. We should be told openly what the real reason is for opposing the Bill. The real person speaking for Fianna Fáil was Senator McGlinchey. I heard Senator Dolan and Senator Killilea say "go on, good man" and when he sat down "Well done". I did not hear too much of that when Senator Lenihan was speaking. If Senator McGlinchey is the real legal voice of Fianna Fáil then let us know that this is the case. We can deal with that and we will not deal with this legal clap trap in respect of an all-Ireland court.

Are you the voice of the trade unions and the Labour Party? Are you, or are you not?

Acting Chairman

Senator Halligan without interruption please.

I am a voice in my own party and of my own conscience, particularly of my own conscience.

It will be recalled that this piece of proposed legislation is consequent firstly upon the Sunningdale Agreement and secondly upon the Law Enforcement Commission Report. It is confined, as the Commission Report itself says on page 9, and I quote, to:

... some special and limited provisions to deal with a special problem.

That special problem, we all know, is the apprehension of fugitive offenders inside our jurisdiction. There have been gross and grievous misrepresentations of the purpose of this Bill, and we heard the most outlandish allegations from Senator McGlinchey in respect of its intentions. He knows, as well as I do, that this Bill is not designed to deal with those who flee from any form of intimidation, terror or violence from any quarter in Northern Ireland. It is designed to deal with those who are inflicting it, not to those who are running away from it—the innocent people of Derry for whom he bled so copiously for hours on end. It is to deal with those who have bombed the Derry people, Catholic and Protestant, and who then used Donegal as a sanctuary. If that activity is what Senator McGlinchey stands for, then it had better be spelt out quite clearly so that the people of Donegal and Derry will know exactly what he means.

This Bill is a reciprocal Bill and can only work if another Bill is put through the Parliament of Westminster. I want the Fianna Fáil Party, particularly the Dublin members, to state whether they oppose action being taken which would mean that those who were responsible for the bombs in the streets of Dublin can be apprehended and brought to trial and punished, or whether they want the bombings to continue and the bombers to go free. I know what sort of answer they will get on the doorsteps of Dublin streets if that is their attitude.

A bomb went off not more than 200 yards from this building. Two bombs went off not more than 300 yards from my head office, blowing 26 people to their deaths and injuring hundreds of others. This Bill and the one going through the Westminster Parliament are designed to deal with that problem, not the people who are running away from the RUC batons in Derry. Senator McGlinchey knows this and it is an abomination that he should have been permitted to twist the humane propositions in the Bill. If he does not want to deal with the bombers, I do as do many of the people of the country and in the Labour Party and the trade union movement.

I want to deal with the man and the organisation responsible for the murder of Martin McBirney. I do not want the Dublin streets to be the place where the man responsible can have free passage and plan murders and bombings in the North. That is the purpose of this Bill and we all know it. We are dealing with the IRA, the UDA and all those who engage in political violence for whatever end in any part of this island. We want to make the whole island safe from those people so that no part can be used as a haven or sanctuary for the assassin or bomber.

I do not believe the Northern problem will disappear and that the Bill therefore is untimely. I do not believe it is the fag end of Sunningdale, as Senator Lenihan has described it, although it is a new description of murder that it should be the fag end of anything. I thought human life was more valuable than being described as the fag end of anything. We face a future which is no less terrifying, terrible and frightening than that which the members of our Cabinet faced when they went to Sunningdale and negotiated the agreement which gave rise to this legislation.

Today a Convention is being elected in the North. Many see this as a possible last chance and many feel it may literally be the last chance and will fail. If it fails then God knows what will happen in the North or here. We can only pray that the people in the North will exercise great wisdom and great moderation in their choice of representatives to that assembly.

In the meantime we must do all in our power to prevent this State being used as a base for terrorist operations in the North so that peace and reconciliation may be given some opportunity while that Convention sit. We do not want murder to walk in our streets under any guise. The central core of this Bill, as set down in section 2 (1) and the Schedule, can achieve that. I cannot see how anyone reading the crimes listed in the Schedule— murder, manslaughter, arson, kidnapping, false imprisonment, explosives, robbery, firearms, hijacking—can decide that the Bill is anything other than an attempt to contain violence and to give peace the slim chance it desperately needs to live and to exist and to fruitify into some kind of reconciliation, to bring some sort of comprehension where there is nothing at the moment but ignorance, to bring some sort of reconciliation where there is nothing at the moment but hatred and to bring some sort of patience and humility where at the moment there is nothing but anger and pride.

I have no regrets about this legislation. I would only regret if I were not in public life at this time to make some small contribution towards its passage and towards other necessary steps to bring about reconciliation in this island. I would deeply regret if through moral or political cowardice we failed to act against those who murder our fellow Irishmen, Protestant as well as Catholic, and also those who murder British soldiers, to act against those who usurp the authority of this State and purport to act on our behalf but who do no more than bring shame on all who describe themselves as Irishmen.

Like many Members, I am saddened by the happenings in the Seanad and by the evidence of almost the shattering of our bipartisan approach to the North. It is very serious. I would appeal for a quick restoration of sanity and of a proper bipartisan approach to Northern affairs. I do not accept that the voice of Senator McGlinchey, which we heard for the last day and a half, is the voice of reason or that of the Fianna Fáil Party who, to their credit, while in office contributed very handsomely to the Northern problem. They did so with the solid backing of the Opposition of the day. In England it is recognised that the situation in the North is far too serious for playing party politics. Not even the Conservative or the Labour Parties would play party politics even for the prize of getting some ten or 12 votes of Northern Members in the House of Commons.

I call for a return of sanity, a return to the calm, deliberate, reasoned, conciliatory approach we adopted on Northern affairs all through the critical period of the last decade. I appeal to the Fianna Fáil Party not to let the emotionalism of the last day or two take charge of the party. Let them heed the voice of men like their Leader, Deputy Lynch, Deputy Mr. Colley and others who have, to their eternal credit, contributed greatly to improving Northern relations and to backing and maintaining a bispartisan approach. The responsibility for this rests on the Government of the day and I for one am not happy that we still do not have a proper committee on Northern affairs.

We have a committee meeting under Deputy Harte in the Dáil but my information is that they are not active and have not met since December. That committee are not pitched at the proper level to deal with such an affair. The only committee on Northern affairs that we can recognise are a committee at the highest level. They have to be presided over by the Taoiseach of the day with at least three Ministers closest to Northern affairs and three corresponding Members from the Opposition, including the ex-Taoiseach. That is the only committee that would be at a proper level; that would emphasise the determination of all to co-operate and not to make party politics out of the sad and unfortunate happenings in the North.

In this Bill I do not intend to vote unless I am assured that it is a genuine bipartisan approach or that I feel certain the Government of the day have taken all real steps to try to get bipartisanship and have failed in the task. That is another situation. I am not satisfied that that has been done yet.

In Seanad Éireann in 1968 to 1972 I and many others criticised very severely the then Government led by Deputy Lynch for each failure to set up an Oireachtas Committee on Northern Affairs. We got promises that such a body would be set up. We were assured that the Taoiseach of the day was having regular consultations with the Leader of Fine Gael and Labour on the subject. That did not satisfy us. We were campaigning and asking that we should have such a committee.

Now I ask the National Coalition to let us have a real effort. Returning to bipartisanship, let us see the creation of a top level Oireachtas Committee to deal with this. That is the only way we can avoid the spectacle that somehow or other there are two divergent views down here on the situation. Anybody listening to Senator McGlinchey would not be wrong in taking it that most of the time he was talking as though he was the voice of the Provos. We cannot have this situation. That is not the policy of Fianna Fáil as I read it and as I glean from any statements by Members of their Front Bench.

Therefore, I ask Fianna Fáil to put their house in order in this. I ask the Government to bend over backwards to preserve and strengthen the bipartisan approach to Northern affairs. That is the only way we can make progress. We do not want a spectacle that indicates to the North that the present Government are in favour of this but when there is a change of Government the whole policy will be turned around again. That is not the way to help our Northern brethren.

There is plenty of time at present to hasten slowly with this Bill and make an effort to reconstruct and reshape our bipartisan approach during the summer months. The Bill and what it proposes is in many ways very dependent on the type of regime that develops in the North after today's elections and how far we can co-operate with them. That will take time to unfold. The Government can get on with the task of development here.

If I was to advance one other reason for the failure of Sunningdale, it was the failure of the Government to have the members of the previous Government properly associated with Sunningdale. They should have been there, at least as observers. Was there some protocol that prevented them from taking part in the meeting as it actually was? They should have been there. Their advice should have been available and, above all, they should have been as much committed and a party to the agreement as were the Government of the day. If that had happened, we would not have had the two months that followed Sunningdale when there was what one might legitimately call an open day for many of the Fianna Fáil Party and others to entertain legitimate doubts or make questioning probes as to what was meant by certain commitments. That possibly created an unnecessary element of delay in proceeding to the implementation of Sunningdale which might just about have passed favourably otherwise.

In Northern affairs as in every other facet of our work, I believe wholeheartedly in power-sharing. I believe wholeheartedly in co-operation. It is the main, the only contribution we can make. I appeal to the members of the Fianna Fáil Party in the benches here to moderate the issue, to cool it off. We all have the same approach in this. We all want to do the best we can. My contention is that the greatest help we can give to our Northern brethren is a united bipartisan approach here based on friendly co-operation and reconciliation with all in the North.

It is on this basis that I do not intend to vote on the present Bill, despite the very fine case made here by Senator Halligan. It was an excellent contribution and analysis of the situation. I believe in putting priorities first and my priority here is to return to proper bipartisanship. To underline this in the present debate I will abstain from voting.

The deliberations of the last two days on this Bill have given us an indication of the thinking of some Senators, to some extent, I hope, in contrast to the feelings of the party to which they belong. If we look at the circumstances in which the Bill is being brought in and the affairs of Northern Ireland as we see them at present, we will see the importance of the Bill. We will see that when the Minister says the matter is urgent and of immediate importance he is speaking the truth. In Northern Ireland for the past 50 years or more we have seen a sectarian form of Government in which a minority of the people had no say whatever, and who were excluded from any office of higher administration in that Government. In the last six years, as a result of that biased sectarianism, we have seen a determined Ireland rising against what the administrative law of that partisan Government had meted out to the people.

Subsequently we saw an effort being made at Sunningdale. We can all say it was a valid effort to find a solution, to give an opportunity to the population of Northern Ireland to participate in Government. After four months, the hardliners of the Unionist administration, the Order which controls the Unionist Party, rebelled and brought the operation of civil power to an end. This took place while there was a continuous attack by armed revolutionaries and counterattacks by para-military units of the Unionist or the Loyalist Party. The consequence was what is said by some to be the failure of Sunningdale. Members of our Government who subscribed to the deliberation would be seen, according to some speakers here, as having wasted their time — that they made no significant contribution.

Today, the people of the Six Counties are participating in the exercise of holding an election. They are voting on the future of Northern Ireland in the next four or five years or maybe the next generation. There are in the North sections of what we have described as the minority, the Catholic population, who are in extreme resentment of and in rebellion against the forces of law, because they live in fear. That rebellion was brought about in consequence of the one-sidedness of the sectarian rule during 50 years. On the other side, there is a corresponding element of extremists who would like to go back to the Stormont regime, who would like to have the B Specials back and a generally unfavourable situation for the ordinary people. There are in Northern Ireland Protestants who constitute a pool of decent, open-minded, sincere citizens who have no animosity towards people North or South because of religion. They are the sections of the Protestant community whom we want to be able to convince that the Craigs and the Paisleys and others who would like us to say, as Senator McGlinchey wants us to say, that we do not want to interfere in the establishment of a conciliatory system of Government there — that when we were asked to do something about the futigives who came across the Border and found a secure haven here, we refused. This is what the Craigs and the Paisleys and the extreme Loyalists want.

This is what they want to say to that pool of Protestant opinion who are prepared to support that section of the Unionist Party, who by their participation in the Northern Assembly for the four months in which they were there showed that they can work with us, that they are prepared to recognise the minority in Government and to participate in a Government in which the minority will have fair representation.

We have got to get across to that community by convincing them that we are not what the Craigs and the Paisleys say we are — a blood-thirsty papist outfit in the South who are prepared to do everything to help everybody who is actively destroying their society. I want to see the Government doing towards the people of Northern Ireland what any country with recognition of full responsibilities of the people of Ireland would do. If we had a united Ireland tomorrow, we must recognise that all the people that Senator McGlinchey referred to as the scum of the earth and so forth would be part of this nation.

We have got to get undertakings from them, but we will not get them by ignoring them and by refusing to be associated with a rule of law here which would protect the ordinary man from the opportunities that the unfortunate circumstances of the Border present when that particular area is attacked and subjected to arson and murder or kidnapping or whatever.

In the Bill the Minister is asking that the House pass a law which will enable our judges to take decisions on matters which occur outside the jurisdiction of the State. When that affects the Irish people who are not yet within the jurisdiction of the State, a national effort which deserves the support of everybody in the House is required. If the Government were to renege the responsibility that devolves on us as a result of our authority to administer the Twenty-six Counties, we would be seen to be subscribing to what appears to be the law of the jungle, where certain subsections of para-military organisations are at present and during the last few months exerting retribution on each other by the taking of human life.

It is not any pleasure for anyone in this part of the country to have to take steps to draw a line and say that for this or that crime we must put them on trial. It is not a pleasure, but it is a duty the Government will not shirk. The respect for the law in this country can only be measured by the sincerity of the Government and their determination to do what is necessary to secure the interests of the people of all Ireland.

Some day we shall look back on this as past history. I am sure that not one person would subscribe to the view expressed by Senator McGlinchey. While Senator Lenihan's view was much more moderate, it was not the view that might be expected from a former Minister in the previous Government and now the Leader of the Opposition in this House. We must obtain the goodwill and the confidence of the Northern population. It should be the aim of everyone in this House to ensure that when the North of Ireland is being discussed we shall do so in a responsible manner. We should not do so for the purpose of gaining an advantage nor as contenders in our constituency for the feelings of certain sections of the community. That is what has been happening in the past.

This Bill will not raise problems for those who are minding their business. It will not put innocent people into gaol in the Republic. If the people that Senator McGlinchey refers to as "the easy perjurers" that would swear people into gaol here, if those people are in Northern Ireland today — as they are — is it not a wonder they do not put them into gaol in Northern Ireland without coming here at all?

If Senator McGlinchey has ranged around to the extreme horizon of his mentality for two days and drawn up every possible concept of what could be imagined to happen, I do not think he should be seen as speaking on behalf of any responsible section of the community, or any responsible party. He has a free right to say what he wants to say. There must be reason in what would be expected to be gleaned from that.

I appeal to the Senators opposite to stop trying to have this both ways. They condemned the IRA lock, stock and barrel. Senator McGlinchey and some of his colleagues have implied that by introducing this legislation we have become the lackeys of England. That was an old exercise of Fianna Fáil. They mentioned the holy names of Griffith and Collins and those who voted for the Treaty. Those men who took the stand that had to be taken then are the men who may be thanked that Fianna Fáil could sit here when they decided to recognise this Parliament. Those men had to face deprivation, difficulties and hardship in order to achieve what they did. I am not saying hard words against those who fought on the opposite side in the Civil War——

The Senator should not dwell too long on questions in the past that are not directly related to the Bill.

I thought I might be permitted to refer to certain cases mentioned by Senator McGlinchey.

The Senator will recall that Senator McGlinchey and other speakers were checked on the same point. A passing reference is in order, but a detailed or long discussion is not.

We do not want civil war politics.

We have here circumstances today in which every man in every lawful, legitimate party considers himself free to do what he wants to do. This Bill does not restrict in any sense the freedom or the rights of people north or south of the Border to live in peace and harmony.

I appeal for a united approach on matters which affect the whole country. If we succeed in having this Assembly look collectively on matters of national importance we will have done a good day's work. A situation will not exist where a person can spend five-and-a-half hours trying to dub the Government as lackeys of Britain. Remember that the British have laid it on the line for the Paisleyites and the others that there must be power sharing in Northern Ireland. Otherwise, they will not have the opportunity of any form of government. In these circumstances, this is something that we hope to see operating between this part of Ireland and the Six Counties as a reciprocal arrangement with a power-sharing Government. Let us hope and pray that such a Government will emerge from the Northern Ireland elections today.

It is significant that this Bill is now, at this early stage of its life in the Seanad, frequently being called the fugitive Bill. This is descriptive of the Bill since it seeks to do a lot more than the title would suggest. It is significant that section 2 of the Bill is in the explanatory memorandum referred to as the principal provision of the Bill. Section 2 (2), with its other nine subparagraphs, deals with the trial in this State of people alleged to have committed crimes in Northern Ireland, who have escaped custody there and who aid escapees there. These sections of the Bill are controversial ones. They are seeking to do more than any of the other sections of the Bill seek to do. They seek to innovate, to change drastically the extent of the jurisdiction of our courts territorially beyond what it is.

The other sections refer mainly to law reforms and would seem to be normal routine provisions. It is a pity that this Bill contains sections controversially extending our courts' jurisdiction together with sections updating our domestic criminal laws. It is a pity because many of us question the constitutionality of many parts of the Bill.

I should like to make it clear that I do not want violence nor does any other member of the Fianna Fáil Party. The Government side have pointed their finger to us over here and claimed that Fine Gael and Labour Members are the only upholders of anti-violence. Senator Halligan stressed this point. I abhor any violence that maims or kills a human being. I detest such violence as has been witnessed north of the Border in the past number of years. It should not be necessary for each one of us to repeat this here. But it is necessary because many on the Government side, particularly the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, have hinted that to oppose this Bill, even in debate, would be tantamount to giving approval to killings, kneecappings and violence of all kinds.

The Leader of the House said on Thursday last that he wondered if someone who had a pistol pointed at his knee-cap would agree with Senator Lenihan that this Bill is not urgent. This language, and the language used recently by the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs outside this House, is violence of words; it is provocative and vicious. It has the ring of: "Hit me now, you blackguard, with the child in my arms." It is dishonest because it is blatantly illogical. It is mean because it is very misleading to people abroad. The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs seems to have appointed himself as Minister for propaganda on Northern Ireland affairs.

Fine Gael and Labour seem to think they have a monopoly on anti-violence. It should go out from both Houses of the Oireachtas that all Members are against violent means of pursuing any political aim. I feel confident that every Member of both Houses of the Oireachtas is behind peaceful means in pursuing any political ends.

When the Minister for Justice introduced this Bill he said he hoped that all who spoke in the debate would be careful, if we did not approve of the mechanics of the Bill to avoid giving the impression that we did not all detest violence. By innuendo, by dishonest debating trickery, those who support the Bill give the wrong impression to Northern people about others in opposition here, particularly in the Dáil and Seanad. They should heed the Minister's plea. Playing party politics and political bating could easily be interpreted as violent, destructive and even disruptive. In the broad sense it could be termed unconstitutional.

Our Fianna Fáil spokesman has indicated why we oppose this Bill. Before I deal with the reasons, which can be grouped under four headings, I should like to ask a simple question about the Bill. The main purpose of the Bill, I presume, is to contribute towards the de-escalation of violence. Would the passing of this Bill bring peace any nearer? By not passing this Bill at this time, but by setting up a Sunningdale-recommended all-Ireland court, could peace be brought nearer?

To the Fianna Fáil Party this Bill is unconstitutional. Firstly, it is against Articles 3 and 38. Secondly, it is inconsistent with Ireland's obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights. Thirdly, it is unworkable. Fourthly, it is devoid of any provision for an all-Ireland court. We believe that this Bill would deepen the wounds of this island nation and turn them into festering and possibly forever-running sores. It will have the effect of further dividing the country — the majority in the North from the minority, and the minority in the North from the Republic. It will even divide the people here. The bad sense of timing in introducing this Bill, when the Convention Elections are taking place, will bring controversy more than reconciliation.

Regarding the constitutionality of the Bill, we assert that it contravenes Articles 3 and 38 of our Constitution. Senator McCartin said here last week that if we found this Bill unconstitutional we should then consider that our very Constitution was unconstitutional. Actually this is most unconstitutional reasoning by that Senator. We have examined Bills in the light of our Constitution, and to do so we must have confidence in the spirit of this same Constitution. The Constitution is not a material thing; it is not like a computer that if you feed material into it and it does not give you the answer you want, you scrap it.

Our Constitution is a living thing in 1975. Our people are living by it. It has a spirit, hope and aspirations. It is broad in its scope and in its concern. Never let us forget that it embraces this island nation of ours. Let everybody remember that there are precious Christian things enshrined in our Constitution. There are things in it that should never be effaced or tampered with. The Constitution treats Ireland as a nation. Unfortunately this nation of ours is divided and indeed the academics can argue until they are blue in the face about the nature and the causes of this division. This nation, from a constitutional point of view, is divided artificially by a border drawn arbitrarily in the 1920s. Our Constitution only recognises the artificial aspects of this dividing border.

The development of this Twenty-six County Republic, under various titles since the 1920s, has been very orderly. There have been many proofs in many crises that the people accept fully the institutions of our State. There has only been a minimal of any support for subversive groups directed against the State. You would imagine from listening to some of the speakers from the Government benches that this was not the case. We in public life for the past number of years, since this trouble came about in the North of Ireland, realise that the involvement in subversive groups is very minimal. The Fianna Fáil Government and the present Government have done their utmost to keep those groups at their lowest ebb.

I claim that the legal enactments resulting from and enforced through this Constitution are the causes of this constitutional attitude within our State. It has committed our people to law and order, respect for life and, recognising political, cultural, religious differences it has caused our people to be directed towards non-violence and reconciliation. We have been fully constitutional and peaceful in our political actions here in the Twenty-six County Republic. But indeed as recently as last May, we saw a constitutional arrangement destroyed in the North of Ireland by the Ulster Workers' Council, which is an extra-constitutional force. They had the backing of several parliamentary political parties together with armed groups. Those people are not constitution conscious and are unmoved by steps towards constitutionality. They were out to wreck Sunningdale and they were allowed to do this.

Changing constitutional legislation now is not going to boost the confidence of the supporters of Sunningdale. It is not going to encourage those who feel that one day some kind of union must emerge between north and south. Sunningdale was a step in this direction. The letter of Sunningdale has been trampled on since then, but the spirit is there and a uniting force was the recommendation of paragraph 10 of the Sunningdale communiqué referring to a common law enforcement area.

This Bill before the Seanad does not agree with what was proposed in that paragraph. It has nothing about a common law enforcement area or overall police control. I believe that any extension of legal jurisdiction must come after other extensions, not before them. This is why I fought the timing of the introduction of this Bill. I also object strongly to what it is and the involvement that is in it, because it is going to have a crippling effect and it is anything but a workable Bill. The Bill which we in Fianna Fáil would introduce would involve a proper all-Ireland court.

Senator Halligan said earlier that this was not possible. I firmly believe that it is. Naturally the judiciary of the Six Counties would be involved with our own, but we think the involvement of both sides in an all-Ireland court would be the proper approach, and indeed it would be in the spirit of Sunningdale and in the spirit of our own Constitution. When the Minister for Justice introduced the Second Stage of the Bill he said the law enforcement commission, on paragraph 20 of their report, stated in reference to the taking of extra-territorial jurisdiction that the jurisdiction could be justified in international law on several generally recognised principles. The Minister then requested us to bear in mind that we were dealing with crimes committed in Ireland and against Irish people and he added that it was not as if our courts should have jurisdiction over crimes committed in a country a thousand miles away.

There are two points to be dealt with from this part of the Minister's speech introducing this Bill. Let us deal with paragraph 20 of the Report of the Law Enforcement Commission. The Minister said earlier that the commission agreed that the all-Ireland court did not offer a practicable immediate solution to the problems. Is this Bill any more practicable? We are convinced it is totally impracticable. The Minister used another adjective "immediate". Is he looking for an immediate solution? Let us be honest, there is no immediate solution. If one is looking for an immediate solution to changing the law, one is doing so in a haphazard way. This is bound to be bad for legislation.

God forbid that anyone would dream of introducing a Bill of such magnitude as this legislation, and consequently capable of such magnitude of damage, only as a gesture, to show goodwill, to put into printed words what we all believe in our hearts and say daily "we detest violence". An expression of detestation of violence is not enough and, in itself, it will not stop violence. This Government are pursuing a case against the British Government in the Court of Human Rights because of the treatment meted out to suspects during interrogation when in the custody of Northern security forces.

The Minister asked us to bear in mind that we are dealing with crimes committed in Ireland against Irish people, and not crimes committed one thousand miles away. It is because we are dealing with our own nation that we must be very careful to see that justice rules, and not expediency. We must also ensure that we are correctly constitutional and not hurrying for an unworkable immediate solution which could be hurtful and harmful. We must remember that evidence given in courts in the North by the British security forces gives rise to doubts regarding its quality. Take the McElhone case. Evidence given by the security forces was undoubtedly unsatisfactory, to say the least. This type of evidence produces a total lack of confidence and makes it impossible for a judge to come to any satisfactory conclusion.

Sunningdale produced an elaborate solution to the political problems of this island. The Law Enforcement Commission set about their task as part of a package deal. Of that package deal, the power-sharing Executive has been thwarted, an effective Council of Ireland has been rejected and a common police authority is at best a remote possibility. This Bill truncates an already mutilated Sunningdale. Besides not satisfying those who were always opposed to Sunningdale, it aims for political solutions. It will also frustrate and alienate many who were always pro-Sunningdale or who were converted to the Sunningdale-type solution.

This shows the untimeliness of this Bill and its overall inadequacy. The Minister has the same aim we all have: the alleviation of suffering, avoidance of further death and destruction and proper punishment of crime. But this Bill will not further any of these aims. Legislative and judicial unity can only be the result of a political coming together. The only satisfactory solution — satisfactory to all and particularly to the minority in the Northern part of Ireland — must be in the context of definite power sharing, an effective Council of Ireland and an agreed common police authority. Before the Convention is elected and gets to work around the table, these necessary conditions are not realities. Hence the measures proposed in this Bill will prove an embarrassment in their futility and, worse, could be an aggrevating and indeed divisive irritant.

Senator McCartin said that the right of the average man in Northern Ireland was being looked after in this legislation. Because it is unworkable this Bill will not look after anyone's rights. Only the Constitution and laws in the spirit of the Constitution could promote anybody's rights. We have our constitutional laws. Not only do we work them but we can be seen to be working them fairly and justly.

To help the average man in Northern Ireland, we must encourage equality of treatment to all people. We must promote the harmony through political means envisaged by Sunningdale in the very spirit of our own Constitution. We must be seen to be, as well as being, politically mature and united in our Constitution. Our laws must continue to accord with what is laid down in the Court of Human Rights. There must be no tricking about with these essentials. There should be no political jockeying or parliamentary jostling. All parties, and all members of all parties, should respect the views and opinions sincerely held by all. Thus we would show that we are genuinely constitutional and politically mature, strong in our law enforcement, able, adequate, and fair in our courts. We would show the world in general, Britain and Northern Ireland in particular, and the minority in Northern Ireland most particularly, that we are safe and fair. Unionists and ultraloyalists would also have to see our consistency in our constitutionality.

I believe all this would be for the betterment of the whole island. An all-Ireland Council and power-sharing would lose their awesomeness for many in the North because the only security to be found in a Jurisdiction Bill is in the context of an all-Ireland court and a common police authority.

I support this Bill because I consider that at this point of our history it is absolutely necessary. It should be realised that the vast majority of our citizens are law-abiding people who desire to go about their activities without being the subject of the many crimes to which our community is now subjected.

This Bill sets out very clearly the type of offences with which it proposes to deal. It seeks to have those responsible for murder, arson, bombing, kidnapping and so on, brought before our courts. All these crimes are serious and, in many cases, disastrous. There is no provision in this legislation for either internment or extradition. The only provision is that those charged with being guilty of such crimes as set out in the Schedule are tried before Irish courts and an Irish judiciary. If we have not faith in the judiciary, the Garda, the Army or our prison services, then it is a very serious matter. Because of the very precarious situation of our country north and south, nobody carrying the responsibility of membership of either House of the Oireachtas should attempt to ride two horses at this time. We must accept our responsibility to protect the interests of the people north and south. We cannot at the same time, if we share and accept that responsibility, attempt to placate the men of violence and give any encouragement whatever for the continuation of these disastrous activities.

The Senators who spoke about the people guilty of the crimes and offences set out in the Schedule are entitled to their opinions but they will be judged on those opinions by the community. The most serious aspect in this debate is the element of emotion, the tremendous emotive content introduced especially by Senator McGlinchey and Senator Killilea. They have spoken deliberately to create an emotive reaction among the Members of the House and outside it.

Senator Lenihan mentioned that he did not wish to reinstitute civil war politics. No speaker from this side in this or previous legislation ever attempted to do that. Let me remind the Senator that when his colleagues Senator McGlinchey, Senator Killilea and two others resurrected the old cliché-ridden speeches about traitors, lackeys and collaborators they were going back in history to the detriment and disservice of all our people. Much of their venom and criticism was directed at the Labour Party. We do not mind that.

Let us go back to the very foundation of our State. The late Tom Johnson, the late William O'Brien and the late Cathal O'Shannon supported, because of a democratic decision through the ballot box of all the Irish people the setting up of this State. At that time the same cliché-ridden speeches were made and accusations of collaboration with Britain, of being traitors were hurled at them by Fianna Fáil. Therefore, this is nothing new. It is part of the policy of that party. It is regrettable that that history has repeated itself to the detriment of the aspirations of so many for a united Ireland.

I consider I am as good an Irishman — no better and no worse — as any of the speakers from the Opposition. I consider I have a sincere and genuine aspiration towards the realisation of the dreams of all Irishmen for a reunited Ireland. Neither shooting nor bombing will achieve a united Ireland with that section in Northern Ireland who do not desire to come in. If we are serious about reunification, we must first establish the peace and co-operation that must be a prerequisite for any hopeful fulfilment of this very desirable and legitimate aspiration. I repeat, we will not do it if we continue to placate, condone or advocate any form of violence.

I am convinced the type of legislation in this Bill is a necessary prerequisite to eliminating violence and establishing the peace we all desire. The names of James Connolly and James Larkin were hurled at us. Those who hurled the accusations at the Labour Party that they were reneging on the aspirations of either of those illustrious Irishmen knew little of the sentiments or aspirations of those men. They lived and died to lift the Irish working class as human beings to a degree of security in employment, in social welfare, in retirement and in a reasonable standard of living. Equality of living standards, equality in taxation, equality in education and equality in health were their aspirations. Realising the legislation that has been held up in the other House for a considerable time dealing with wealth tax, capital gains tax and taxation of large farmers, one must point out how far the Fianna Fáil Party are removed from the philosophy of those two illustrious Irishmen.

I am supporting this legislation because all our people, except a very small minority, are crying out for peace. Our economic, social and political structures are threatened if this situation is not righted. We hear many cries about taxation. Who here today realises the impact on taxation of violence running into many millions? Look at the disastrous effects on the various aspects of our economy.

In my own centre, the hub of Irish tourism, this violence has brought disaster to business, commerce and employment. Many millions of visitors are anxious to come to our shores but they are deterred and afraid because of the deeds of men of violence on this island. This, again, is a disastrous situation.

I support this Bill because it is necessary at this point of time. It will demonstrate our responsibility to the masses of the people who are concerned with this violence.

I oppose the Bill in terms of its timing and content. I recognise behind it a profound spirit of sincerity on the part of the Government. I should like to preface anything I have to say by dissociating myself from any charges of collaboration, bad faith or expediency. The motivation of the Government in the matter is, if anything, over-naïve, over-simplistic in its sincerity, and above all, over-anxious to please people who, by their own statements, have revealed themselves as being totally unimpressible by anything that could be done in the South.

I am opposed to this Bill primarily for one reason. It does not sufficiently take account of the intransigence of the extreme Unionists position in the North. The Bill is being brought forward after five years of the most distressing and dreadful violence in Northern Ireland. This violence has come as a result, primarily, of a régime that has been discriminatory and sectarian, in a manner that has become a by-word throughout the world. The Bill, itself, supposes on the side of the Northern administration — whatever kind of administration may be there — on the side of the Northern police organisation and the British Army, a reciprocal goodwill in bringing to book the men of violence, in other words, doing for their community what we propose to do for ours. The evidence and the facts have been so distressingly disappointing in this respect that the timing of the Bill seems extremely ill-advised, if not disastrous. In the North there is widespread and deep-rooted discrimination on the part of the police. One detail, I suppose, is sufficient to establish that. In the hands of Northern Unionists at this moment there are 100,000 licensed guns. There has been no attempt to remove those guns or to revoke those licences. The Catholic population, of course, are unarmed and undefended except by a group whom I repudiate — the two branches of the IRA. It is a situation in which there has been an obvious lack of impartiality, not to mention the distressing fact that there are private armies on the Unionist side. They are drilling openly. They are armed to the teeth. They have been systematically equipped and maintained. These have not been repudiated by such people as Paisley, Craig and West — the very people who may come to power in this present convention election.

This Bill has to be reviewed against a background where we, in an admirable spirit of goodwill, offer to do the best we possibly can but where, in advance, those with whom we hope to co-operate have deliberately and publicly declared their unwillingness to cooperate. To that extent the Bill seems to be a judicial blank cheque, handed out to the Northern administration with its police and a cheque which they can fill in, according to their prejudices and which we, in advance, promise to honour on our side. Every court case which took place in the South against that background would become open to the most blatant and violent propaganda, conducted in the worst faith, by the forces of extreme Unionism in the North.

In other words, the Bill is aimed — and in this one respect I agree with Senator McGlinchey — at only one section of the community on this island. As the then Taoiseach, Deputy J. Lynch, said on the 20th July, 1970: "My Government is the second guarantor of their future." He said that, of course, against the background of hope that people would govern wisely within that province. Wise Government has not emerged. From the moment when civil rights marchers were clubbed into the ground when making their protests against discrimination against the minority the situation has worsened.

We, in the South, Coalition and Fianna Fáil, have failed so badly in statesmanship that the republican aspirations of our Constitution and of our policy have slipped from our grasp into the hands of the men of violence. The will for the unity of the country has only been expressed through guerilla force. That is one of the great disasters. When the history of our era comes to be written, all three parties will be asked why they allowed the ideals of their policy towards the unification of the country to pass from their hands and fall into the hands of men of violence.

The Bill, while having many admirable objects, seems ultimately, to do only one thing — to remove from the hands of people who wish to oppose and protest against an oppressive Government every vestige of the right to do so. I am not claiming that they have the right to do that now but it would seem that some of the provisions of the Bill could bring to book in the Republic people who are doing things in terms of civil right protests where they would come in conflict with the police. If the Northern police could be trusted, that would be fine, but I could see a man who defended himself with a placard against a policeman with a baton who could be seen as using a weapon with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, brought to book in the South on the insistence of the police in the North. We are pursuing a case in Strasbourg against Britain at the moment for all kinds of offences against the person and against that background it seems that the Bill is an ill-advised Bill. It is a Bill to which I could not give my full assent.

I noticed when Senator Kilbride was speaking — and his speech was marked by the same kind of moving sincerity that one found in the speech of Senator Halligan and many of those who spoke on the other side — he said that the British Government had laid it on the line for the extremists in Northern Ireland that they will have to set up a democratic, power-sharing policy. The facts of the matter are — distressingly — the reverse — the UUUC strike in which the British Army can now be seen not to have moved and, it is almost certain, to have refused to obey the Government's directive in the matter. It is not possible for the British Government to lay anything on the line in the North. The existence of these private armies, the existence of these licensed guns and the tacit approval or condoning the existence of great caches of unlicensed guns call in question, not the sincerity of the British Government, which I am not questioning though I do not regard it as crystal clear, not their desire to create a power-sharing Executive in the North but their ability to do so.

We, because we are failures at statesmanship in the South, have allowed the forces of the most intransigent sectarian unionists to assume a posture at this moment of such triumphant arrogance that it is hard to believe how it is wise at all to pass, particularly at this extremely doubtful and vascillating moment in the history of the North, a Bill like this which will involve us in this degree of co-operation with their forces of law and order, the Army and the police, who seem not to have proven their trustworthiness as custodians of law and order or indeed as agents of the kind of justice which the Government would like to see implemented through the provisions of the Bill.

It has been said that the Bill came out of that aura of goodwill and co-operation which emanated from Sunningdale. A strange thing happened after Sunningdale that has not, surprisingly, been mentioned here. I would say it again in relation to what Senator Kilbride has said with regard to the goodwill of the British Government in the matter. William Whitelaw worked for many years in the North to bring about Sunningdale, the Assembly and the power-sharing Executive. That Executive was just getting into its stride, had marshalled some of the best political intelligence the country has ever seen, intelligence of the SDLP, the Alliance, and so on, and seemed to be going extremely well when Mr. Whitelaw was withdrawn from Northern Ireland and appointed as a chief adviser to Mr. Heath. It was while he had Mr. Whitelaw at his elbow that he called that disastrous election in February of last year, that confrontation with the miners, where it was very doubtful if he would win. There was only one thing certain about that election — that it would bring to Westminster 11 extreme Unionist M.Ps and that by so doing the rug would be pulled completely from under that Executive and that the work of Mr. Heath's adviser, Mr. Whitelaw, would be set totally at naught. Anybody who watched that, and I spoke to many politicians here at the time — I was in England when it happened — saw it was clear that Sunningdale was a dead duck, that it could not possibly succeed.

There are only two possible readings of that. One would be that which most people give to it, that Mr. Heath was not thinking of Northern Ireland; he does not have much time to think about it when he has such a massive problem on his hands as a coal miners' strike. Such a reading would be sinister. The other reading is more sinister. I do not know which reading I am willing to take. If they put the argument that Heath did not think of Northern Ireland, that would be impossible because Mr. Whitelaw was chief adviser on the mining situation and he had just come from Northern Ireland, having given four of the best years of his life to the construction of the power-sharing Executive. One cannot say that he was not aware of it; what one must say is that he regarded it as a minor and peripheral affair and certainly something that would not be as big as the confrontation with the miners. The second reading — and I take my life in my hands even to suggest this possibility — would be that the whole question of oil off the North coast of Antrim began to emerge, and that Britain, who a year before would have been very keen to get quickly out of Northern Ireland, was suddenly taking thought again, perhaps saying: "Let us hang on; the Scots nationalists would be rather difficult about their off-shore oil, but the Northern Unionists could not care less about their environment as long as their power is secure." That is another reading of it. I am not saying which of them I espouse but one way or the other it is hard to trust either the goodwill or the determination or the power of the British Government to bring about a just society in Northern Ireland. They have failed to do so and an element in their failure has been the possible failure of will in the South to assert their belief that the island should be one and to apply powerful political and diplomatic pressure on Britain to get out from the early days, back in 1969 when Deputy Jack Lynch said that he would not stand idly by and proceeded to do just that, to be followed by the present Government in that same posture.

I am not saying that posture is cynical or in any sense contemptible: it is the moral posture, the posture that is based on belief that the other man is as decent as you are. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach, Deputy Kelly, when he interrupted Senator McGlinchey said: "If they are going to be blackguards that does not mean that we should be blackguards too." Therefore, we keep our "bosom franchised and allegiance clear,"; we show that we are decent men. But it is easy to sleep on another man's wound. We can prove ourselves to be very decent men but who will suffer for it? Who has been suffering for it? Who are the chief sufferers in the entire dreadful affair? The minority in Northern Ireland, the nationalist minority, the people who have been encouraged by our Constitution to seek unity with us. They have been encouraged year in, year out in our celebrations to strive for that unity, not necessarily encouraged to take to the gun, but then the kind of celebrations involved have been celebrations of 1916. In a sense, are the Government at present not involved in a double standard? Articles 2 and 3 assert our right to sovereignty while everything we do publicly repudiates that right.

Senator Halligan said that the Government had offered a rewriting of Article 3 of the Constitution to Fianna Fáil which they turned down. I was not aware of that. Perhaps the Minister might comment on that. What proposal did the Government make about changing Article 3? I could understand the logic of a Government which would say: "Let us scrap Articles 2 and 3: let us give up this claim to unity which is causing so much trouble in the North. Let us tell the minority in the North that we are not interested in them; let them go back and make whatever terms they can with the Unionists, cap-in-hand, if necessary, but do not look to us for any aid, do not regard us as a second guarantor." That would a least be logical. But we are, with one hand encouraging their aspiration towards a united Ireland and with the other hand co-operating to a large degree with the forces which punish them for any gesture they make in that direction.

If this Bill is designed to allay the fears of the Unionists it is already beaten from the start. The Unionists have rejected it: they want extradition. It is not desired by the UDA or the UFF. It is not desired by the SDLP whose judgment we should trust to a great degree. The Unionists do not want this type of Bill. They want a return to what, in their political rhetoric is called parliamentary democracy, that is a return of the old Stormont but reinforced by history with a very poisonous addition of the hatred that arises out of five years of killings and atrocities. It seems to me that the Bill will not please anyone but it will displease most of all the nationalist minority in the North. It will be seen by them — I know it is not meant that way by the Government — that they are surrounded by enemies, that they have no friends and nobody to turn to at all. That seems to be the posture of the Bill. The intention is moral and the aspiration behind it is profoundly decent but it does not make good political sense at this moment. It has to be seen in political as well as in legal terms.

And in moral terms.

And in moral terms. I have not challenged the morality of the Bill or the morality of the intention. There is a political dimension to it which is not being totally adverted to. It is rejected in advance by the Unionists; it is bitterly opposed and seen as bitterly offensive by the Nationalists. It seems to be largely useless to Britain, as far as we can judge because what they cannot do was proved in the UUUC strike. There is a very problematical relationship between the army and the British Government and the Home Secretary. It is full of hazards for the South as we have been told here already. The movement of witnesses and legal men back and forth across the Border will be a hazardous affair. It is legally eccentric, if not legally unsound and constitutionally dubious. I do not like the idea of constantly enacting legislation which may have to go to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then becomes the Government of the country instead of the Legislature.

Section 2 of the Bill seems to accept the legitimacy of the Northern Ireland Government. It seems to terminate or at least to curtail seriously the possibility of political protest by the minority in the North. Do we finally wish to terminate all protests, opposition and challenge, to whatever regime happens to obtain in Northern Ireland? Do we wish to terminate and curtail all protests even against a regime which might be overwhelmingly governed by the Craig-Paisley faction in the North of Ireland? Do we wish to hand them this blank cheque in the belief that they will fill it out in the most scrupulous way and in a manner which we can honour when it is presented at the political or moral bank?

Subsection (3) of section 2 states that where a person "in the State or in Northern Ireland, attempts, conspires or incites another person to commit an offence..." or who "in Northern Ireland, attempts, conspires or incites another person to commit an offence specified in the Schedule..." I know the Schedule is fairly rigorous but not all that rigorous.

Does not Article 3 of our Constitution implicitly constitute some kind of incitement to oppose a Government in Northern Ireland pending the reintegration of the national territory? It is not just the opposers of the Bill who are caught in a double standard. There is a double standard in the very centre of our political life. The moral stance is one which perhaps keeps your position fairly clear but in many cases it is at the expense of the nationalistic minority who are taking all the knocks and I am not talking about Catholics. Everyone in Northern Ireland is encouraged by our Constitution to seek a 32-county Republic. They have made various efforts and, on their behalf, various men of violence have made dreadful and atrocious efforts to achieve that. What they are trying to achieve is enshrined in the Constitution. That is why I would like the Minister to tell us what precise overtures are being made between the Government and Fianna Fáil with regard to Article 3. I could see the logic of the abolition of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. It would then say to the people in Northern Ireland: "We are sorry; we regret those five years; we never really meant all this about integration and a 32-county Republic. Please go back and apologise and work your way into a position of whatever kind of power-sharing you can achieve with your fellow-citizens." Then at least they would know where they stood.

We can be the gentlemen in the matter but who is taking the knocks? They are taking it on the chin day in, day out. Their doors are being smashed by British troops, their children are being interned; many have been tortured. Our Government have acknowledged this. All that is happening. I realise the difficulty of the Government in this matter but it should be clearly understood that a double standard exists. It is one that we could acknowledge. I am as keen as Senator Quinlan on the matter of a bipartisan approach, which now seems to be going through a state of doldrums and suffering from a great degree of rhetoric and emotion.

There are a number of other provisions in the Bill that one could go into in detail but I will save these for Committee Stage. However I should like to advert to one, notper se, but as an example of the difficulty and ambiguity of the Bill, and that is in section 2 (6) where it says:

Where a person has committed an offence specified in the Schedule or attempted to commit any such offence, any other person who, in Northern Ireland, knowing or believing him to be guilty of the offence or attempt or of some other such offence or attempt, does without reasonable excuse any act with intent to impede his apprehension or prosecution in the State or in Northern Ireland shall be guilty of an offence.

What does that mean? If one takes the degree of abstractions involved there, it is unbelievable — somebody who has committed an offence, attempted to commit any such offence or any other person who in Northern Ireland knowing or believing. Look at the degree of detachment from that act we are getting. It is almost like a Yeats' line, "Mirror on mirror, mirrored is all the show". It is almost as if it were translated from German which had been written by somebody who had learned German through the medium of Hindustani and then translated into English. That is an extremely vulnerable section.

I am not a lawyer but when it speaks of the notion of intent to commit offence or believing that there is an intent to commit an offence the whole thing recedes from you in a Kafkaesque set of subclauses where all meaning seems to be derided there. I can think of the army of lawyers that could be kept in employment working on the legal implications of that clause. However, that should be left for Committee Stage when I hope to be present if Senator McGlinchey can be restrained from blocking all his colleagues by making representations for days on end. It was with enormous relief that I eventually managed to get in here, after two days of waiting. I suppose I should be more brief to make up to my colleagues for all the time that has been absorbed in that way. But Senator McGlinchey made many valid and persuasive points.

I cannot support the Bill. It is extraordinarily eccentric timing for a Bill like this just when we are trying to discover what is happening in Northern Ireland, what kind of regime will come into force. Is it the kind of regime that you could depend on to implement the provisions of the Bill? The timing seems to be very strange indeed and, in fact, inexplicable. The Bill seems to be seriously in conflict with a great deal of the public postures that have been traditionally struck by both sides of this House. It seems to be a Bill that will punish only one body of people, the people who have been the most tormented, afflicted and desolate in the whole sorry five years that have just passed.

Might I draw the attention of the House to the fact that the Minister for Education is now here and also to the fact that the Minister for Justice has left the Chamber and has been absent for quite a while. On a point of order, I think it would be more beneficial for us to discuss our motion on the bankruptcy of Irish education.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator knows that matter was decided on the Order of Business this morning. Senator O'Toole on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill.

I must compliment Senator Martin on his honesty in saying that he could not support the Bill. I can accept that from Senator Martin because I did not detect one shred of hypocrisy in what he said. He was speaking openly and honestly on what he thought should be the case. He gave valid reasons for his opposition to the Bill.

The same cannot be said of some speakers who have spoken here in the last few days. We have had a long, and sometimes irrelevant discussion on the Bill. No amount of whitewashing or verbiage will cover up the real motivation behind the opposition to the Bill as stated by some of the Opposition speakers. Senator Martin said that the bipartisan approach had very nearly gone out the window. One must ask why should this happen? One must answer by saying, in the light of what has gone on here in the past few days, that the bipartisan approach would seem to be on its death bed, because there are people here who would seem to indicate that they are only waiting for an excuse to kill that bipartisan approach and are using this Bill and the discussion thereon in order to ensure the demise of that approach.

The Opposition will tell us that it was the Minister, through the introduction of the Bill, who caused this. We must be honest with our colleagues and with ourselves. This Bill has been referred to as one of the crumbs that fell from the Sunningdale table. I do not agree. The fact that it has been mentioned in the context of the Sunningdale Agreement is purely a coincidence, because if we are honest with ourselves and if we apply the conscientious standards expected of us in this part of the country, this Bill would and should have been brought into Parliament regardless of whether it ever saw the light of day at Sunningdale. This Bill is to be welcomed because it is a genuine effort at eradicating violence. We all know what violence has meant to many thousands of people. This House can also mourn its dead as a result of this violence.

This legislation is necessary in the present political climate. Bearing in mind what has happened in the past six years we, in this part of the country, must do all we can to ensure that one life or a hundred lives or a thousand lives can be saved. If this legislation saves one life it will be worth the effort. I am quite sure that when this Bill is an Act and when that Act is being implemented we can reasonably expect that violence can be diverted and lives can be saved.

I think it is accepted by every Member of this House that the residents of this island can all be regarded as Irishmen. As in any community you will find individuals and groups, both small and large, who hold very strong allegiances and who differ and have different views on very fundamental concepts concerning politics, religion and other matters that affect their lives. But the fact that minorities, groups or individuals, hold divergent views — and maybe radical views — does not make them lesser Irishmen for doing so. That is the very concept on which we are talking for the past few days — the right of the individual. This, broadly speaking, is what we are discussing.

At this point I should like to ask a question. Can we live in family proximity to our fellow Irishmen in the North without making any effort whatever to show or express a degree of sincerity? The simple answer is that I think we can. I think that peace, and in particular peace through reconciliation, is built on trust, confidence and on an expression of sincerity. This trust, confidence and sincerity must be seen to come from all sides of the divide if peace is to become a reality.

Does the absence of this expression of sincerity and trust I speak about from one side, give us a valid excuse for the adoption of an "not an inch" philosophy? I do not think it does. One can refer to the analogy of two people who have had a row and the peacemaker comes along and asks them to shake hands. One feels like shaking hands but the other does not and the man whose better sense tells him to shake hands does not do so. In other words, he will not give in because his opponent will not give in. Such an attitude of mind can be regarded as human nature.

This Bill is trying to show our magnanimity, trying to show our neighbour and the world that we are sincere about what we say. I would take issue with Senator Martin on the question of double standards. Of course, there are double standards in many cases. I am sure that we all recall the reference to low standards in high places made some years ago. There are double standards. People, for reasons that are known to themselves, hold those standards when it suits them. I do not think the charge of double standards can be levelled against the National Coalition Government.

They have no standards at all, whether single or otherwise.

I say this because of the consistency of the policies towards Northern Ireland adopted by this Government and adopted by this party and the Labour Party while in Opposition. Indeed I would say that Deputy Lynch, as Taoiseach, tried very hard to build up trust and confidence and sincerity in his policies towards Northern Ireland. Deputy Lynch was not successful in his efforts to do so because beside him were people on whom he had to depend to gain power and with whom he differed on very fundamental principles concerning policy towards the North. The present Taoiseach cannot be said to have the same difficulties.

As has been said over the past few days, the Bill has many facets. Basically it is very specific in what it sets out to do. It is a genuine attempt to ensure that this Government will do their best and will be seen to do so, to curb violence on this island.

This Bill is specifically concerned with political offences which at the moment are exempt from the extradition process. The Opposition stated that there are other ways in which this problem can be overcome. Since they suggest there are alternatives, we must assume that they agree and accept there are problems in this area, that there is a loophole that could and should be closed. It would seem that in that regard we are one. But the alternative they suggest appears to me and to many others not relevant in certain circumstances.

An all-Ireland court has been mentioned as something which, if we could see that it had a chance of success, would be acceptable to all the people here and all the Members of this House. First, we must be practicable. We must get back to the basic and fundamental reasons for the introduction of measures. If in the way we approach things we ruin our chances of reaching our objective, then why introduce a Bill at all? There is no point. One introduces a Bill on the assumption, firstly, that it is workable, and secondly, that it is acceptable to the people among whom it will be implemented.

If the objective of the Bill is what I think it is—a method to curb violence — the contents of the Bill must be seen to be workable. I think we will all agree — even the Opposition who are proposing an all-Ireland court — that an all-Ireland court would not be acceptable to our fellow Irishmen in the North for many reasons. A Bill proposing it would be doomed in the Houses of the Oireachtas because of the violent opposition which would be expressed by the very people among whom we are trying to curb violence.

I understand that amendment of our extradition laws is not feasible because of commitments to international agreements. Therefore the only avenue open to the Minister to close this gap, a gap which is accepted by all of us, was to adopt the extra-territorial approach whereby a culprit convicted in the North of a crime scheduled in the Bill can be tried here, provided that evidence to sustain that conviction will be sought.

We have had on this point valid and genuine fears expressed by some Members of the Opposition as to the difficulties involved and the dangers inherent in getting this evidence. But there is one overriding factor we should not forget. This is where the argument of some Opposition speakers falls down. The reasons they give and the worries expressed by them are based in the assumption that the evidence given to get a conviction would be given by people in whom much confidence could not be placed.

The present situation is that the person who commits a crime in the North, if he or she is apprehended there, must stand trial under the socalled unjust system which has been referred to here in the past few days. This Bill now gives that person the opportunity if he comes from the South to be tried in a united court by Irish judges. This as an alternative to what might be is very acceptable.

I think that the question of the person charged not getting fair play and not getting justice has been overplayed. My understanding of the Bill is that that person will have the right to which he is entitled guaranteed to him whether or not the evidence is taken here or in the North. The evidence will be taken by a commission with a High Court judge acting as chairman. Present at the taking of the evidence will be the judges involved in the actual case together with the defendant and legal advisors. It is conceivable that the person may not get a fair hearing and that the evidence might be trumped-up evidence in order to seek a conviction if at all possible. It may be that people will come forward and perjure themselves. All these things are possible but they are also possible in any court of law.

A person can come into court and perjure himself and everything is grand so long as it cannot be proved that he has perjured himself in evidence. Through that perjury, he may cause somebody else hardship, a term in jail or some other type of punishment. That is possible in any court in this land and elsewhere. So the apprehension expressed by members of the Opposition concerning the taking of evidence where the person opts for taking it in the North, is based on the assumption that the judges at the commission are just sitting there in order to ensure the terms of the Bill are complied with. Those people who go there will be able to judge for themselves the truth of what they hear and they would have a very good idea whether or not the witness was prejudiced. If we are to have confidence and trust in our judges, it is not unreasonable to ask us to show the same confidence and trust in them when they hear evidence on behalf of a client sitting with the commission across the Border.

Senator Martin's mention of double standards could well be applied to the argument of the Opposition in regard to this point.

An election is taking place in the North at the moment and we all hope the results will show that moderate opinion and moderate attitudes will carry the day and that a commonsense approach to leadership and politics in the North will ensue.

Senator Lenihan mentioned that this Bill was divisive — that it would cause division in the North and put a wedge between North and South. He is entitled to his opinion as is everyone else. But what he fails to do is to show beyond any shadow of doubt where and how this Bill could cause divisiveness and be a source of division here, in the North or between the North and South.

If we look at the Bill in its whole concept and look at the aims and objectives behind its introduction, I think anyone who describes the Bill as divisive is unfair to those listening to him and indeed to himself. While I would be the last person to question Senator Lenihan's honesty, he was less than honest to himself when he tried to put up this argument because simple logic will not bear out that this Bill is or can be divisive, because of its objectives and aims.

If we want to go line by line through the Bill and pick out some little thing that could be contentious, I am sure these things can be talked about on Committee Stage and can be decided on. The Minister will listen and may decide to amend——

If he is there.

These are matters that can be ironed out. But to come along and to suggest that the Billin toto is divisive is something which cannot and will not be accepted by any sensible person. It is unfortunate that many of the things which have been said here in the past few days were said. Many of them would have been better unsaid. One cannot but refer again to the kind of verbiage and phraseology used by Senator McGlinchey, not through his six or seven hours, but in a small portion of his speech where he seems to have lost all sense of reality and, indeed, all sense of responsibility. In the present political climate and on a day in which very important elections are being held in the North of Ireland, it is totally irresponsible for a Member of this House to stand up and say some of the things that were uttered here, and hope that they would not affect issues outside of this House.

I mentioned the bipartisan approach and, above anybody else, Senator Lenihan's speech is indicative of what I have already said. There were Members of the Opposition who were just waiting in the wings for an excuse to terminate the bipartisan approach. This is an unfortunate and dangerous situation. This is a blow to the bipartisan approach and the progress we might have expected to make towards peace, towards reconciliation, towards a building up of trust, confidence and friendship. There are people who would seem to be just waiting for an excuse to end that approach.

One wonders, having listened to other speakers, if they are talking about the same thing. The Opposition speakers would seem to dwell on and emphasise the idea of collaboration, the idea of the encouragement of violence, of political unrest, rather than the idea of the objective for which the Bill is being introduced. That may be the prerogative or the business of the Opposition. In the present circumstances any Opposition who set themselves out to do that in the present political climate in the North are acting irresponsibly.

Debate adjourned.