Brendan Smith brands UK government immunity proposals on Troubles murders as ‘absolutely deplorable’ 

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has branded current British Government legislation on the legacy of the Troubles, which would allow murderers to give themselves immunity from prosecution, as “absolutely deplorable”.

Speaking with Taoiseach Micheál Martin in Dáil Eireann this week, Deputy Brendan Smith stated: “I hope that in his first opportunity to engage with Boris Johnson’s successor, the Taoiseach will prioritise legacy issues and remind the British Government strongly that it must take on board the concerns of victims and survivors.

“As all of us in this House know, the current British Government legislation would allow murderers to give themselves immunity from prosecution. It is absolutely deplorable.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “Of course, there is the total lack of co-operation by the British Government in regard to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and the Belturbet bombing. It is deplorable that the government of a democratic country would not co-operate with a sovereign government and parliament in a neighbouring state where we know state forces were involved in the murder of innocent people.

In response, the Taoiseach stated: “Deputy Smith will be aware of my view that the proposals that emerged in terms of amnesties or qualified amnesties are unacceptable. The Deputy is correct in saying that the views of victims and the families of victims should be uppermost and paramount in any legacy policy or scheme. 

“I do not want to get involved in what is happening in the UK in regard to an election of a successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Suffice to say that we would like this to be an opportunity for a resetting of relationships but also a return to adherence to the agreements that have been entered into between two sovereign states, between Europe and the UK, and in respect of legacy agreements that have been entered into by the families of victims, political parties in Northern Ireland and governments of the UK. In other words, what has been agreed should be adhered to unless we collectively agree to change.”