SF representatives challenge North's Secretary of State at GFA Oireachtas Committee meeting
Sinn Féin TD’s Seán Crowe and Martin Ferris were joined by Pat Doherty, MP, at today’s meeting of the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee which was addressed by the Six County Secretary of State Owen Paterson, MP.
During the historic engagement, the first time The North’s Secretary of State had ever addressed an Oireachtas Committee, the Sinn Féin representatives raised a number of issues including the need for full disclosure on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, outstanding issues relating to former political prisoners and the Tory Government’s decision to cut the North’s Block Grant by 400 million.
Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe was scathing in his remarks in response to the refusal of Mr Paterson to meet the requests of the Justice for the Forgotten Group, who are seeking the release from the British Government of all of the documentation relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
Deputy Crowe said: “The refusal of the British Government to make public the documents relating to the 1974 Dublin, Monaghan bomb atrocities shows they have much to hide.
“The complicity of British state forces in these and many other killings must be dealt with. Their refusal to disclose the truth is causing a good deal of pain for those who lost loved ones during that terrible event. It is simply not good enough to say a “synopsis” of information has been released to the families and serious questions need to be answered over the integrity of the RUC and Garda investigations.
“There is compelling evidence that collusion occurred here and Owen Paterson and his cabinet colleagues must disclose the truth.”
North Kerry TD Martin Ferris raised the failure by the British Government to expunge the records of political prisoners he reminded Mr Patterson that a number of outstanding issues from the Good Friday and St Andrew’s Agreement’s remain to be addressed.
“We have the bizarre situation,” he continued, “where high ranking members of the North’s Executive are restricted in terms of travelling and in the jobs they can apply for because of the time they spent as prisoners during the conflict.
“There can be no longer any prevarication on this issue and the British Government must meet its obligation and address this issue as a matter of urgency.”
West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty challenged The North’s Secretary of State to get the British Government to make available the amount of money raised in taxes in the North. He also criticised the Tory party’s decision to cut £400 million from the North’s Block Grant despite the previous agreements that had been made with the Labour administration.
After acknowledging David Cameron’s apology to the families of those murdered on Bloody Sunday after the publication of the Saville Inquiry, he asked Mr Patterson would the honours awarded to those responsible for the atrocity be removed as had happened to former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Fred Goodwin.