Terrorist Victim Describes ‘Breathtaking Confession’ by Former Irish Justice Minister to De facto IRA Amnesty
The Dubliner, Dr Finian Fallon, was speaking after Mr McDowell wrote in The Irish Times this week that Sinn Fein must conduct a “reality check” of historic prosecutions against British soldiers in light of the immunity enjoyed by the IRA on both sides of the border. Mr Fallon’s father Garda was murdered by Republicans in a bank robbery in Dublin in 1970.
Mr McDowell, Minister of Justice from 2002 to 2007, said the Seanad had recently condemned the British proposals for amnesty for the unrest, but noted that from 1998 to 2006 Sinn Féin had “incessantly called” immunity from criminal prosecution for IRA members.
“[Therefore] the Irish government of which I was a member took the decision that a further investigation and prosecution by An Garda Síochána for such historic offenses was no longer justified or justified because of the greater interest ”, he said declared.
But Dr Fallon described it as “a breathtaking admission.” He added: “In decisions not to prosecute perpetrators, we see the reality of state cynicism laid bare: individuals are collateral damage in the pursuit of a perceived national interest and can be killed, maimed. or murdered in pursuit of those goals, with justice an unimportant afterthought, subject to the prevailing political winds.
Kenny Donaldson, spokesperson for Innocent Victims United, said Mr McDowell’s comments were an admission of the Irish state’s failure to fulfill its responsibility to protect “the right to life” under the European Convention on Human Rights – which he said Dublin often accuses the UK of not doing. He said the confession “mocks the Irish government’s current position on inheritance.”
TUV chief Jim Allister said McDowell had made “a shockingly open admission”. However, he said it would be “a mistake” to think that the Republic “suddenly turned a blind eye to IRA terrorism” under Mr. McDowell’s government; Between 1973 and 1997, the UK requested the extradition of 110 suspected terrorists from the Republic of Ireland, but only eight suspects were extradited, he added.
The Irish government, Mr McDowell and Sinn Fein were invited to comment.
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