Last evening, as we were celebrating life and taking pride in the exploits of our national football team, at the very same time six young soldiers who were helping in a charity event in an Irish town were wiped out by the Godfathers of Death in as dastardly an act as we have seen over the past 19 years of horror. It is an act which brings shame to the name of Irishmen and to our island. One can only express revulsion and horror and give the comfort of one's sympathy to the families of those who suffered so grieviously last evening. Those who carried out this deed do not know the meaning of the word "decency". Civilisation is not part of their make-up or creed. While I, as a politician, have always believed in dialogue and in talking, I wonder now if there is any point in talking to these people. I wonder if the well-intentioned attempt to establish a bridgehead, to talk to these people, by constitutional politicians in Northern Ireland over the past few months have any place or purpose. On behalf of my party I want to extend sympathy and to express revulsion.
May I point to the irony that just as the Dáil was focussing attention last evening on the plight of the Birmingham Six and others in British jails, attempting to reason, to create a climate in which their cases could be revised and, hopefully, that they could be given clemency, the Godfathers of Death were ensuring that whatever efforts were made from these Houses would be set at nought and a climate that might help them was, in one stroke, completely destroyed.