The RoI Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, announced on December 7 that the Council of Europe in Strasbourg discussed a number of legacy cases, including the case of Pat Finucane.
Minister Flanagan went on to state, “The Irish government shares the deep disappointment and frustration of victims and survivors of the Troubles, from all communities, who have had to wait for far too long for access to truth and justice.”
If this wasn’t so serious, then I actually might burst out laughing, thinking it was a wind-up.
Mr Flanagan added further, “The Irish government will not be found wanting in this regard, and calls on the British government, and the political leaders and parties in Northern Ireland, to renew and redouble their efforts in the period ahead.”
The RoI government has done nothing post 1998 agreement to assuage the concerns of victims in the border areas. Indeed, in one of my cases where I am acting as an advocate, a RoI government body has been obstructive in my attempts to investigate a murder with cross-border implications.
They have prevaricated to such an extent that it was obvious they couldn’t deal with the subject, and now refuse to answer my correspondence.
The RoI government continue to be in denial over their support of the IRA in the early years of the Troubles, the total lack of co-operation with the security forces in NI, the refusal to extradite suspects and their now blatant failure to assist in cross-border legacy murder investigations.
The extensive Smithwick report has been ignored even though it contains evidence of murder and other serious crimes; nothing has been done.
There is no confidence that when the SHA structures are put in place, that the RoI government will commit to the promises made under this agreement. Mr Flanagan, please put your own house in order before you point the finger at others.
Ken Funston, South East Fermanagh Foundation