Kenny rejects that government could have done more to halt IRA

Published: 14 Nov 2013 14:000 comments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has dismissed unionist allegations that the Irish government could have done more to stop the activities of the IRA in Border areas like Fermanagh during the Troubles.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the service on Sunday morning in St. Macartin's Cathedral, Enniskillen, with Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Secretary of State Teresa Villiers (right).

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott is calling on the Irish Prime Minister to not only “acknowledge” that the government could have acted to thwart the IRA but to apologise “for not doing so”.

“There were occasions when the IRA fired at homes and farms from across the Border. You only have to look at areas like Garrison, Newtownbutler and Rosslea where there were murders committed and there is no doubt that those responsible escaped across the Border.”

“The Irish government could have had a better security force present and could have been more helpful in extraditing people back over the Border,” he said.

The Fermanagh-south Tyrone MLA who spoke to the Taoiseach about the issue when he visited Enniskillen on Remembrance Sunday wants him to acknowledge this was the case.

Mr Elliott said the Taoiseach told him that his government is awaiting the outcome of the Smithwick Tribunal set up to examine allegations of Garda collusion in the 1989 murders of Superintendent Bob Buchanan and Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, from Kinawley. “Once Enda Kenny has acknowledged that they could have done more during the Troubles then it would be useful for him to publicly say the Irish government was sorry, like Prime Minister David Cameron has done in the past,” he said.

But when questioned by this newspaper about the issue on Sunday the Taoiseach rejected the claims.

“I would remind you as I did unionist members that the jails in the Republic were filled with IRA activists and people who were involved in terrorist activities; they were absolutely filled and there wasn’t any occasion that I can recall where people were knowingly allowed to do what you say.”

He added: “Things are very different now in terms of communications and access to information and the sharing of that information and the level of co-operation between the PSNI and Garda Síochána is at an all time high.”

Mr Elliott says he intends to discuss the role of the Irish government during the Troubles as part of the all-party talks with Dr. Richard Haass, something the Taoiseach has already done.

“I met with Dr Haass and I expect he will make his recommendations before Christmas. We have also discussed this with the First and Deputy First Minister. Obviously he [Dr. Haass] can only make recommendations in respect of the past and it is a matter for the parties to engage themselves but the government will be very supportive of efforts to move this on,” he said.

Back in September, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore hinted that the Irish government was prepared to investigate the allegations during a speech at the British-Irish Association conference in Cambridge. Mr Gilmore addressed a unionist “perception” of a failure by Irish governments to combat the IRA.

“We need to acknowledge those unionists who feel that, notwithstanding the sacrifices made by members of An Garda Síochána and the Irish Army throughout the Troubles, the Irish State could have done more to prevent the IRA’s murderous activities in Border areas,” he said.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Kilkenny man is new manager at Lough Erne

Kilkenny-man Andrew Phelan has been appointed as General Manager of the Lough Erne Resort.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Shareholder claims that Glanbia made £10,000 offer at meeting

FIVEMILETOWN Co-operative Society shareholders have been offered £10,000 each from Glanbia, a shareholder has claimed.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Lily Dane

Quinton family dealt another blow with death of Christopher

The Quinton family has been dealt another tragic blow with the news this week of the unexpected death of Christopher Quinton whose passing is being met with shock and sadness in the community.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Rodney Edwards

Call for ban on GAA jerseys at universities debated

SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan has discussed Jim Allister’s call for a ban on GAA jerseys from universities in Northern Ireland with the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

'Nanny, nanny... he's dead, dead'

The call no mother wants - read Ruby Brown's moving interview following the death of her son Richard in a motorbike accident

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Julie Kenwell

Collegiate given chance of 11th hour appeal to WELB

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School are to make an 11th hour appeal to members of the Western Education Library Board (WELB) not to sign off on a development proposal which would see it merge with Portora Royal next year.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 10:15

3,000-year-old bogwood sculptures installed at SWAH garden

BOGWOOD sculptures over 3,000 years old have been installed at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) garden.


24 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Way of the Cross: Congregations walk together on Good Friday.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:30 • Editorial Department

In today's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.


23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.


23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.


23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.


23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.


22 Apr 2014 17:00

Mallards slip into bottom two

Ballinamallard United slipped into the bottom two in the Danske Bank Premiership on goal difference following today's 2-2 draw with Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park.


22 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Opinion - Kylie Noble - Why I’m excited to vote for the first time

The rites of passage of growing up vary from person to person but throughout my own life events such as turning 13, my first formal, my GCSE and A level results, my 18th birthday (and my first and to date only hangover that followed), getting into university and moving away from home are just a few which I imagine are pretty common landmarks among my generation.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 15:00

Rucksacks stolen in car break-in

A car was broken into at Navar Forest near Derrygonnelly last night (Monday).


22 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

Stormont Files: Farm Watch designed to prevent rural crime - O'Neill

FARMERS in Fermanagh are being encouraged by the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Enniskillen to take part in the Farm Watch Scheme, an initiative endorsed by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.


22 Apr 2014 12:00

Lisnaskea home attacked

A house in Lisnaskea has been attacked.


22 Apr 2014 11:00 • Rodney Edwards

Stormont Files: Litter droppers approach MLA to quash £75 fine

A NUMBER of people in Fermanagh have been fined £75 for “dropping a cigarette butt or a sweet paper” on the street, according to UUP MLA Tom Elliott.

Social: Comments0 comments