Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (530, 531, 532)

Micheál Martin

Question:

530. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he discussed the Smithwick report with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2198/14]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

531. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he discussed the Smithwick inquiry report with Prime Minister Cameron; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53726/13]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

532. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he discussed the Smithwick inquiry report with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53725/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 530 to 532, inclusive, together.

The House will be aware that the Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry submitted its Final Report to the Clerk of the Dáil on 29 November 2013 and that the report was published on 3 December 2013. On publication of the Tribunal’s report I apologised on the part of the Government to the Breen and Buchanan families for any failings identified in the report on the part of the State or any of its agencies.

I met with Northern Ireland Minister of Justice, David Ford MLA, who is my counterpart on the Northern Ireland Executive on 17 December last and we were joined at that meeting by the Garda Commissioner and the PSNI Chief Constable. We discussed the Tribunal’s findings and cross-Border police co-operation generally. The two police chiefs emphasised that Garda-PSNI co-operation remains close and productive, and is a key element in countering the security and other crime threats which this island faces. On 18 December last I met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP, who is my British Government counterpart with regard to Northern Ireland-related security matters. The Tribunal’s findings formed part of our discussions on a range of security-related matters.

I will bring the Tribunal’s report to the Government for consideration shortly and, in keeping with the normal practice, the Whips will make the necessary arrangements for it to be debated fully by the Oireachtas.