Seanad exchanges over claim Government slow to act on British ‘miscarriages of justice’

Questions over files ‘hidden’ by Britain

Senator Mark Daly. “I have not heard the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, or any other member of the Government express outrage about the way in which the British government lied to the State.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Senator Mark Daly. “I have not heard the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, or any other member of the Government express outrage about the way in which the British government lied to the State.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 01:00

A claim by Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly that the Government was not doing enough to confront the British government on miscarriages of justice led to heated exchanges in the Seanad.

Mr Daly said miscarriages of justice against Irish citizens and the State continued.

“What are the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste doing in response to a recent excellent RTÉ documentary which exposed events surrounding a case Ireland took against the British state for torturing a number of Irish citizens living in the North, who became known as the ‘hooded men’?,’’ he asked.

“I have not heard the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, or any other member of the Government express outrage about the way in which the British government lied to the State about recent revelations that the British prime minister was aware at the time that elements of the British army were shooting Irish citizens in west Belfast.’’

Hidden files

Mr Daly noted that Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan had praised Taoiseach Enda Kenny for travelling to France this week to discuss Europe’s future. “Perhaps he will ask the Taoiseach whether he raised with David Cameron the issue of the files hidden from the State when it prosecuted the British state.’

Mr Coghlan interjected to say that everything proper was done through the appropriate channels. “Senator Daly is waffling,’’ he added.

Mr Daly asked if it was also intended “to secure the release of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four through the appropriate channels’’. He called for a Seanad debate “on issues related to the British state’s practice of hiding files, not only in respect of the cases of the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four and hooded men, but also in the case of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings’’.