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Enda Kenny in the Dáil this morning
Enda Kenny in the Dáil this morning
Image: Screengrab

Taoiseach: Proposal to end Troubles prosecutions ‘would be difficult for families’

Enda Kenny was speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this morning.
Nov 20th 2013, 10:50 PM 7,194 45

Updated 10.50pm

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said that the Northern Ireland Attorney General’s proposal to end all investigations, inquiries and prosecutions into killings that took place during the Troubles would be “difficult for families”.

Kenny said that while it would not be “helpful” for him to comment on the proposal put forward by John Larkin this morning, he would foresee difficulties for families affected by the killings that took place during the Troubles.

“I think it would be difficult for families on either side of the dark time in Northern Ireland if you were to follow that advice and put in place what the Attorney General recommended,” he said.

Speaking at Leaders’ Questions this morning, Kenny said that if “subsequently, incontrovertible DNA evidence of the involvement of a person” in a particular killing were to emerge it would make it difficult for families that that could not be followed up.

The Taoiseach was asked about the matter by the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams who called for a debate on the issues in Northern Ireland. Adams reserved his judgement on Larkin’s proposal.

He said that his party has proposed that there be “an international independent truth recovery process” but said these matters need to be discussed so that they can “move forward in a way that looks after the victims”.

Kenny said he had no objection to have a proper debate in the Dáil or at the Good Friday Agreement committee, but said that this should wait until the outcome of the process involving US diplomat Dr Richard Haass.

Haass is currently consulting with all parties in the North on the issues of parades, protests, flags and emblems and has also held discussions with the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste in Dublin.

Kenny said he is “quite happy, when we see the conclusions of his work, to have such a debate here, one of many, where the narratives can be laid out, side-by-side and see if there is a conclusion”.

Later during the Order of Business, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin expressed “grave concern” at the proposal from Larkin.

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“I think it would suit a lot of people if the past was completely buried,” he said and called for a debate.

The Taoiseach repeated his preference for a debate to take place when the Haass process is concluded.

Originally published 1.13pm

Read: PSNI Chief Constable says dealing with historic Troubles cases is a “significant pressure”

Read: Northern Ireland Attorney General calls for end to Troubles prosecutions

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Hugh O'Connell

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