Dodds’ concern over Larkin police decision

Nigel Dodds speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. PA Wire
Nigel Dodds speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. PA Wire

Members of the security forces in Northern Ireland deserve praise rather than persecution, Nigel Dodds has told the Commons.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, the DUP deputy leader raised the decision by Attorney General John Larkin to request a re-examination of police actions in shooting dead an IRA member.

Colum Marks was killed during an attempt to bomb Downpatrick RUC station in April 1991.

Solicitors for the Marks family have disputed the presence of a mortar device at the scene, and that police warnings were given.

The family claims efforts could have been made to apprehend Marks.

An original decision not to prosecute any of the officers involved was made in 1993. Now, Mr Larkin has formally asked the PPS to reconsider the 1993 decision.

Mr Dodds asked David Cameron if the PM agreed that it was unfair to pursue prosecutions in cases such as Colum Marks.

Mr Dodds said: “People in Northern Ireland are concerned about a two-sided approach to the past, which was exemplified by the decision this week to investigate a police officer who bravely stopped an IRA bomber trying to kill police officers.

“Does the Prime Minister agree with me that we have to get behind our security forces, praise them for the work they did in Northern Ireland, and not persecute them.”

Mr Cameron replied, saying: “These issues around the acts of the past still cause a huge amount of pain and difficulty on all sides of the debate, but I think one of the things we have to hold on to is the fact that we have an independent and impartial justice system.”