Doug Beattie: I have written to Charlie Flanagan to ask him to consider other victims, including IRA victims

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, pictured at Stormont last month. 
Picture by Arthur Allison, Pacemaker

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, pictured at Stormont last month. Picture by Arthur Allison, Pacemaker

I notice that on Thursday the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD, was scheduled to speak at the Pat Finucane Anniversary Lecture in Belfast.

The murder of Pat Finucane in February 1989 was indeed a shocking event in Northern Ireland’s history, and took place just over five years after the murder of another legal figure, Edgar Graham gunned down by the IRA at Queens University.

Both murders were the work of terrorists and must be condemned unequivocally.

I have written to him to ask that he takes time to consider other victims, not least the Kingsmills massacre.

In particular, I have raised the visit by Enda Kenny to Bessbrook in March 2015 where Enda Kenny gave an undertaking that the Irish government would cooperate fully with the coroner’s inquest into the killings and share all relevant documentation in relation to the Kingsmills atrocity with the Northern Ireland Coroner.

I therefore asked Charlie Flanagan to use his influence over Enda Kenny to ask the Taoiseach to deliver on the promises made to the families of the Kingsmills victims.

There were literally hundreds of deaths and injuries caused by attacks which took place in Northern Ireland, that were launched from the Republic, and numerous incidents where attacks in Northern Ireland saw terrorists flee south.

Many of these attacks were against the security forces, but others were similar in nature to Kingsmills, albeit on a smaller scale, and can only be described as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing along the Border.

Clearly this is a situation which requires close investigation.

Finally, I asked what action is being taken against Kieran Conway, the Dublin lawyer who has made some startling admissions as to involvement in IRA activities, including the murder of soldiers and the Birmingham pub bombings.

I believe the Republic has a moral responsibility to help provide some degree of support and comfort to those who were made victims by actions launched from its jurisdiction.

I look forward to Mr Flanagan addressing these matters.

Doug Beattie MC, Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate, Upper Bann