IRA victims renew call for Taoiseach apology

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A TERRORIST victims’ campaigner yesterday called on the Taoiseach to apologise for border policies which he says allowed the IRA to murder hundreds of Protestants along the border.

Kenny Donaldson of Lisnaskea-based South East Fermanagh Foundation yesterday applauded the publication of a new book by Prof Henry Patterson which examines the subject.

“Hundreds of murders were carried out within the Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh and Londonderry border lands with a significant majority owing their roots to planning operations carried out in the Republic of Ireland,” Mr Donaldson said. “The Irish state fundamentally failed to protect life in border areas and presided over security and extradition policies which were designed not to proactively fight terrorism, nor bring terrorists to account.”

He added: “Taoiseach, there is a need for you to make reparation for the wrong committed by your state. Your state didn’t murder people but the security and extradition policies which were in place meant that others freely could.”

In September UUP MLA Danny Kennedy led victims of the 1976 Kingsmills Massacre to press Taoiseach Enda Kenny for an apology for what they saw as failings in border security by the Irish state. However, the Irish premier “disappointed” them by responding that he could not apologise for the actions of the IRA. Yesterday the MLA welcomed the publication of Prof Henry Patterson’s new book on Irish border security.

“It is further proof that during the Troubles it was virtually open season along the border for republicans to carry out atrocities and return to safe havens in the Republic,” he said. “I will continue to pursue the Irish government on the issues of an apology and acknowledgement. There is also considerable interest in the Smithwick Tribunal and its role in highlighting the issues of collusion and historic failure by successive Irish governments. There is growing evidence that Irish governments have a case to answer and we fully intend to pursue that.”

Last year he said the IRA border campaign had been “ethnic cleansing or genocide”.