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Taoiseach fails to answer question on Loyalist weapons

6 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has accused the Taoiseach of blatantly avoiding a question put to him in the Dáil today. Deputy Ó Snodaigh had called on the Taoiseach to provide any information he has received from Tony Blair and Ian Paisley about tons of weaponry imported from South Africa through British agent Brian Nelson and if that weaponry had been put beyond use. However, the Taoiseach "blatantly avoided" the question according to the Sinn Féin Deputy.

Speaking directly to the Taoiseach in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "In your meetings with the British Prime Minister and with the DUP have you asked if all the tons of weaponry imported from South Africa through British agent Brian Nelson and others have been put beyond use? These weapons were supplied to Ulster Resistance, the paramilitary body the DUP set up, and they were used to kill numerous people.

"What information has Tony Blair or Ian Paisley given you about those arms? And do you accept that republicans have taken huge risks in putting arms beyond use while there is no evidence that any of these Ulster Resistance weapons have been put beyond use?"

Speaking later Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "The Taoiseach blatantly avoided my very serious question in the Dáil today. I would call on him to immediately issue a written answer to my office.

"These weapons were used by Loyalist gangs in collusion with the British State to murder many innocent civilians on this island. If the Taoiseach has not asked these questions of Tony Blair and Ian Paisley then he must do so at the earliest opportunity. He has a duty to the people of this state to get to the heart of this matter and to seek accountability from the British State and the Loyalist murder gangs." ENDS

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