Naming In Parliament
Sir, - The naming of 20 people by Dr Ian Paisley in the British House of Commons, whom he claimed under parliamentary privilege were involved in paramilitary violence, including the dreadful massacre at Kingsmill in 1976, is an act of gross irresponsibility which may result in an attack on some or all of these men.
On February 12th, 1989, Mr Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor, was murdered shortly after Mr Douglas Hogg, the then agricultural minister in the Conservative government in Britain, stated that "some solicitors in Northern Ireland were sympathetic to the IRA." As Mr Finucane was involved in some high profile court cases concerning certain republicans, this was regarded as sufficient reason to warrant his murder. The family of Mr Finucane has called on the British and Irish governments to instigate an international independent inquiry into the shooting, following revelations that a report compiled by the London-based human rights group, British-Irish Rights Watch, alleges security force collusion in the murder.
The intention of those who murdered Mr Finucane was to silence him. This they succeeded in doing, but for the sake of democracy, we must ensure that the voice of civilised society must never succumb to terrorism.
No doubt those who have been named by Dr Paisley must feel threatened, intimidated and terrified for their own and their families' safety. I believe Dr Paisley's actions are a clear breach of the Belfast agreement and DUP participation in any assembly must now be questioned. - Yours, etc., Tom Cooper,
Delaford Lawn, Dublin 16.