Alliance raises issue of ‘Disappeared’ with Taoiseach
AN Alliance Party delegation today met with the Taoiseach in Dublin, and also with the leaders of other parties in the Dail, to discuss the fall-out from the IRA’s Northern Bank raid and the implications for the political process.
Alliance urged for pressure to be applied to republicans across a broad front, including issues such as paramilitary beatings, exiling and the ‘Disappeared’.
The delegation was expected to meet party leaders Enda Kenny, Pat Rabbitte, Trevor Sargent and Justice Minister Michael McDowell.
The delegation consisted of the Party Leader David Ford MLA, Deputy Leader Eileen Bell MLA, General Secretary Dr Stephen Farry, East Belfast representative Naomi Long MLA, Councillor Stewart Dickson and Colm Cavanagh.
Speaking after the meeting with the Taoiseach, Alliance Leader David Ford said:
“Alliance stressed to the Taoiseach and the other leaders that the political process cannot be held hostage by the actions of republicans. The most effective sanction is for republicans to see that the political process can move on without them.
“The train should leave the station. If republicans can meet the same standards on democracy, human rights and the rule of law as everyone else, they are welcome to join the train at a station down the line.
“It is important that republicans are challenged across a broad front. Matters of trust and confidence are not just restricted to the Northern Bank raid, but a wider pattern of ongoing paramilitary and criminal activity.
“There are also issues such ensuring that exiles can feel free to return home and providing information on the remains of the ‘Disappeared’. Relatives of those who were abducted and killed by the IRA deserve to be allowed to give them a proper burial, and renewed pressure is vital.
“The bar for republicans is becoming much higher.”