Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (45)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

45. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in view of the collapse of a case (details supplied) in the UK, if the Irish Government of the time issued letters of amnesty or guarantees of immunity from prosecution to any suspected terrorists or republicans who were on the run; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11510/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Government has always taken very seriously the need to deal sensitively with the legacy of the past. This informs our support for the ongoing political talks among the Northern Ireland party leaders. The need to deal with prisoner issues was recognised in the negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement which committed both governments to provide for the accelerated release of prisoners affiliated to organisations supportive of the peace process.

In the context of ongoing attempts to have the institutions provided for in the Agreement established fully, both governments sought to address the issue of those subject to outstanding prosecutions or extradition proceedings who would have been released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement had they been convicted and imprisoned. While the Irish Government did not operate an equivalent scheme to that at issue in the case mentioned by the Deputy, we would see the administrative scheme for OTRs established by the British government as a natural progression from the agreement made at Weston Park. The Weston Park Agreement was reached in the conviction that all its constituent elements were in the wider interests of the peace process.