Troubles amnesty: ‘Sinn Fein’s Rita O’Hare – a fugitive who’s gone on to enjoy a glowing US career including snaps with Joe Biden’

Ian Paisley raised the case of Sinn Fein figure Rita O’Hare in the Commons yesterday, during the debate on the government’s planned Troubles amnesty.

He attempted to move an amendment which would have tried to exclude some people who had left the jurisdiction after being accused of a crime from immunity from prosecution.

He said: “If the amendment were to have a name, it would be the Rita O’Hare amendment.

“Although she is not the only example, she is a very good example of the sort of person the amendment would encapsulate and capture – there are many other notorious examples, but hers is a specific example.

Rita O'Hare with President Biden (from Gerry Adams' Twitter)

“She is now a Sinn Fein employee. She has worked in the USA and the Republic of Ireland.

“She tried to kill Warrant Officer Fraser Patton in October 1971.

“She was arrested and charged with that and with malicious wounding. When she was on bail, she fled, evaded justice and got sanctuary in the Republic of Ireland, where she continued her dastardly work.

“Indeed, in 1979, she smuggled more explosives and ammunition and faced a shorter jail sentence. The Republic of Ireland refused to send her to Northern Ireland.

“Rita O’Hare then went to the United States of America, where she has had a glowing career. It has been so glowing that if we look her up on Facebook or elsewhere on the internet, we can see her standing with no less a figure than President Biden in one of her most recent posts.

“We can also see her standing with President Obama in one of her posts. Then there is Mr Richie Neal, who likes to visit Northern Ireland and lecture people about peace and prosperity – there he is, arms around a person who has evaded justice in Northern Ireland and who should be facing justice.

“The amendment would capture that type of person and say: ‘There’s a body of evidence here. You’re not getting away with this. We’re going to put you through due process and get the sort of justice that Warrant Officer Fraser Patton is entitled to.’

“That is what the amendment would do, and I urge support for it.”

However, the amendment failed when put to a vote.

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