Saturday 17 February 2018

Troubles victims to challenge Enda Kenny over inaction against IRA

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

David Young

ANOTHER delegation of victims of the The Troubles will today challenge Taoiseach Enda Kenny to apologise for alleged Government inaction against the IRA.

Bereaved and injured from Co Fermanagh are travelling to Dublin to confront the the Taoiseach with their claims that successive administrations in Dublin did not do enough to clamp down on republican paramilitaries during the conflict.

Last month victims of the 1976 Kingsmill massacre in south Armagh met Mr Kenny over the same issue.

The meetings come amid moves by Unionist politicians in the Northern Ireland Assembly to press the authorities south of the border to say sorry.

They claim Ireland was to all intents and purposes a safe haven for terrorists during the Troubles, with the powers-that-be reluctant to hunt down suspects or extradite them to the UK.

The Taoiseach has insisted the Government should not apologise for IRA violence and has noted the efforts of his predecessors to secure peace.

The current administration has also highlighted that Gardai and members of the Irish Defence Forces lost their lives at the hands of the IRA.

Democratic Unionist Stormont Economy minister and Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster will lead the delegation to meet Mr Kenny this evening.

Mrs Foster's late father survived an IRA gun attack during the Troubles.

"It is a privilege to lead this group of victims to tell their story in Dublin," she said.

"Their stories are not only harrowing but they highlight the lack of adequate security provision on the Republic of Ireland side of the border during the Troubles.

"These were attacks often planned from within the Republic of Ireland by people from the Republic, and returning there afterwards meant the terrorists were provided an effective safe haven.

"These victims are not asking Mr Kenny to apologise for the actions of the IRA, but for those of the Irish government who not only failed to put the necessary security measures in place to prevent attacks, but who refused to extradite terrorist suspects back to the United Kingdom to face justice."

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