Dublin’s role in the Troubles needs to be fully acknowledged - Beattie

The Ulster Unionist MLA, Doug Beattie MC, has called for the Republic’s role in the Troubles to be the subject of proper scrutiny so that it can be fully acknowledged.

Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“The Irish Republic is a good neighbour, but that wasn’t always the case.

“The role played by the Republic in the Troubles is one which has never received the scrutiny it merits. The role of successive British Governments has long been discussed, and been the subject of much media scrutiny in particular, but the Republic has come to be regarded as the equivalent of a passive bystander. That is far from the case.

“Fifty years ago the Dublin Government was rocked by allegations that Cabinet Ministers and Irish Military Intelligence were involved in a plot to import weapons and pass them on to the IRA. Within a matter of weeks Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney were dismissed from Jack Lynch’s Fianna Fail Cabinet. Others ministers followed and a trial ensued. Haughey was cleared, the case against Blaney collapsed and the story was allowed to slip into history as the Troubles gained an ever increasing momentum.   In spite of the lack of convictions, the then Taoiseach Jack Lynch insisted there had been an illegal plot to import arms.

“If there is ever to be a serious examination of the Troubles and the legacy they have left, then there needs to be an honest assessment and acknowledgement of the role played by the Republic. This will include the presence of IRA arms dumps and training camps on its territory, the network of safe houses, the hundreds of gun and bomb attacks the IRA was able to mount from the Republic against targets in Northern Ireland, the ethnic cleansing campaign against border Protestants, collusion between rogue elements of the Garda and the IRA as was proven in the Smithwick investigation into the murder of RUC officers Breen and Buchanan, and the ease with which IRA terrorists were able to live freely in the Republic.   

“Successive Dublin Governments have shown little appetite to seriously address these issues.  The reality is that the Republic played a central role in the Troubles and this needs to be both highlighted and acknowledged if we are to have a full understanding of what really happened during those dark times.”

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