I have clearly stated on numerous occasions that the use of Irish airspace and airports for extraordinary rendition operations has not, and will not, be permitted under any circumstances. The current Programme for Government states clearly that this Government “will enforce the prohibition of the use of Irish airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with the dictates of international law”. Ireland does not tolerate, and will not tolerate, the use of our airspace or airports for any illegal purpose, including torture, rendition or the unauthorised detention of any individual. Ireland has cooperated fully with an investigation of the Council of Europe of the various allegations made in regard to secret prisons and extraordinary rendition. Out of forty-six responses received, Ireland’s was one of nine that was adjudged to be sufficiently comprehensive not to require additional clarification.
Recent reports on extraordinary renditions do not provide any new information or evidence to support its assertion that Ireland permitted such activity. In particular, they do not suggest that any person has been subjected to extraordinary rendition through Irish airspace and airports. It has been made clear by the current and previous Governments that such activity would be considered completely unacceptable and illegal by Ireland. I reiterate however that should anyone have evidence to suggest that any person subject to extraordinary rendition has transited through an Irish airport, this evidence should be made available to An Garda Síochána so that an investigation can take place.