MPs are encouraged on policing


THE LEVEL of co-operation between the police forces on both sides of the Border against dissident republican groups was “encouraging”, the head of a visiting delegation of MPs from the House of Commons said in Dublin yesterday.

Chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Laurence Robertson said they had been told at a meeting with Deputy Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan that there were “probably 150” dissident activists in the Republic and “maybe 350 or more” in the North.

“It was really encouraging that he absolutely assured us that there would be no let-up in the policing of the Border, regardless of the financial situation, and that the co-operation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland is very, very good.

“I think this really reflects the fact that there is so much co-operation and goodwill between the two governments,” said Mr Robertson, who is Conservative MP for Tewkesbury.

The main purpose of the committee’s two-day visit, which concludes today, is to examine the impact of the different levels of corporation tax in the two jurisdictions and the implications of reducing the Northern Ireland rate to a level comparable with the 12.5 per cent in the Republic.

Committee member Dr Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP said in relation to the visit:  “The big thing for all of us has been the sheer commitment of everybody we’ve talked to, in terms of the reduction in corporation tax.”

The delegation is to meet Minister of State at the Department of Finance Martin Mansergh, today.