Donaldson asks to meet Taoiseach

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson
The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson

A DUP MP has asked for a meeting with the Taoiseach to discuss a former Irish justice minister’s claim that there has been a “consensus in the Republic that the police would no longer be prosecuting historical cases”.

Speaking after the comments by Michael McDowell last week, Jeffrey Donaldson said that he had requested a meeting with Irish prime minister Enda Kenny to ask for clarity on whether there was a de facto amnesty south of the border for Troubles crimes.

Last week, in the wake of the Hallett report into the ‘letters of comfort’ to IRA fugitives, Mr McDowell said that there is an “element of absurdity” to pursuing historic Troubles-related crime including by British forces and the IRA, and said he supported a move to “simply draw a line across the page and say that’s over now”.

Mr Donaldson said: “I am working with several families whose loved ones were murdered by terrorists from the Republic of Ireland. The Breen and Buchanan families, known through the Smithwick Inquiry, are two of those families still seeking justice.

“However, this statement from Michael McDowell effectively indicates that a terrorist in the Republic of Ireland is in the clear as the Garda has a murky policy of not pursuing them. Victims are rightly outraged by this statement from McDowell. Justice must never be compromised.”

Mr Donaldson said that he would ask Mr Kenny to meet IRA victims “to assure them that there is no blockage to justice and the Republic of Ireland is not a safe haven for republican terrorists”.