Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (50)

Micheál Martin


50. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he discussed the arrests of journalists involved in the making of a documentary (details supplied) with the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24615/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Government is aware that, following a judicial review, a decision was taken by the PSNI not to progress the investigation  into the journalists. We welcome this decision. Obviously in any democracy press freedom is essential. My officials met with the two journalists on a number of occasions in the course of this process and kept it under review throughout.   

The Government has consistently made clear the view that the report published by the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland on the Loughinisland murders in 1994 causes very deep concerns, in particular the finding that “collusion is a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders”.

My thoughts are with the families of the six victims of the terrible attack at Loughinisland in 1994.

It remains the case and is fundamentally important, given the heinous crime committed at Loughinisland in 1994, that any evidential opportunities - now or in the future - are fully and appropriately examined with a view to the question of further investigations and possible prosecutions.

The clear concerns with the Loughinisland case still need to be addressed and in a broader frame the comprehensive approach of the Stormont House Agreement must be urgently implemented. I have engaged extensively with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to actively pursue the implementation of the legacy framework as soon as possible, with the needs of victims and survivors at the core of our approach.