Hayes enters debate on terrorism…

SOME plain speaking from Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes today in the Senate during the Second Stage reading of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill 2002.

After pointing out that the British and US governments’ attitude to terrorism, Hayes suggested some areas where sanctions might be taken against Sinn Fein.

Hayes said:

The Minister should pursue the financing of all paramilitary organisations and terrorism. Senator McHugh referred to this issue. He has evidence of money laundering in County Donegal by a paramilitary political party. It must be closed off if we are serous about this legislation. The Criminal Assets Bureau must also be employed to pursue warlords and close them down. I have received two letters from people in a town in Donegal who allege that legitimate businesses are a front for Sinn Féin-IRA to launder money and to control parts of the town. We are obliged to go after them.

I agree with other speakers in that we must co-operate with all agencies on the island of Ireland in terms of our efforts in these matters. One such matter was recently brought to my attention by the SDLP concerning the electoral returns office in Northern Ireland and our own public offices commission in terms of the scrutiny of expenditure by some political parties during election time.

  • Gay

    “One such matter was recently brought to my attention by the SDLP concerning the electoral returns office in Northern Ireland and our own public offices commission in terms of the scrutiny of expenditure by some political parties during election time.”

    FG are taking advice from the SDLP? Are they mad?

  • Keith M

    It’s good to see the “Sinn Fein-IRA” nomclature finally gaining wide acceptance here (Willie O’Dea now uses it as well). When I used it on television back in 1999, it was rare to hear it outside the unionist political establishment. It is essential to keep reminding people of the two sides of the same coin.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    In the same debate, Michael McDowell (remember him?) dealt with the issue of ambiguity in the peace process.

    The barbarity of what happened to Mrs. Jean McConville was useful as an example only because it underlined that in the current ideology and mindset of the Provisional movement such activity is legitimate. For some reason they can condemn it and say it is wrong but it is also legitimate because they believe in a legal order which authorises the use of such barbarity. Therefore, when it emerged later in another one of these encounters with a Member of the European Parliament, Mary Lou McDonald, that she was not in a position to say that the shooting of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe was criminal and when I heard Mr. Gerry Adams say on the radio that no action by a Provisional volunteer which is authorised is criminal, then I have to ask myself with what kind of language I am dealing, to what agreement I am being asked to subscribe and what understanding I share with people who are trying to negotiate with the Government.

    The logic of all of that, which appears to have escaped a number of people in the media, is that if it was no crime to shoot dead Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, it would be no crime to do it again. The plea of guilty in that court was another piece of fraudulence because the people involved in it believed they had done nothing wrong under criminal law. All the propaganda since to get them out of prison as prisoners of war, as they call themselves in their communications to Sinn Féin Ard-Fheiseanna and in articles in An Phoblacht, represents the true situation and carries the endorsement of those who went from the other House to pose with them for a photograph which was published in An Phoblacht. I am asked, as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, to accept that none of this is criminal and people who pose as statesmen stand up in public and state that it is not criminal. When I ask them in a different context to give me a guarantee that a new dispensation will be based on the proposition that neither they nor anyone associated with them would commit crimes, I suddenly realise we are talking about two very different things. They are asking for a licence to do whatever they would do and tell me I am to abide by the laws of this State but that they are not so obliged. That is a very radical proposition and one which we cannot countenance or live with.

    It’s a question that some MLAs have been asking too: “If democratic parties and Sinn Fein have been talking a different language, investing political capital in words that have fundamentally different meanings to the two groups, then is the Agreement worth the paper it is written on?”

    Are we still talking different languages (and no, I don’t mean Irish and Ulster Scots)?

    McDowell asked:

    All ambiguity on this issue is now destructive. Whereas in the past it may have been the case that some constructive ambiguity was required to move people into the democratic process, all ambiguity on these fundamental principles is now destructive.

    Where ambiguity may have been useful in the past to get over hurdles, is it not time for clarity? Certainly the Northern robbery has brought these issues into the spotlight like never before…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Sorry, the big paragraph after the one in italic should also have been in italics to indicate it is McDowell’s quote.

  • Henry94

    SOME plain speaking from Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes TD today in the Dail

    That’s strange because Brian Hayes is not a TD. He lost his seat in Dublin South West at the last election to, Sean Crowe of Sinn Fein.

    Hayes has a great future behind him.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Well spotted Henry94. Correction made.

  • spirit-level

    As a republican I thought Mr. Minihan was bang on the money:
    “Terrorism is supported by a root network and while terrorism might be evil, the same cannot be said of this root network. This network consists of people who live with oppression, repression, poverty, hunger, despair and hopelessness. These are people desperate to survive. Hatred feeds the network of terrorism. We must address this side of the issue as well. It is also the case that some people play on these emotions to stir up feelings of hatred for their own personal gain, be it financial or ideological. They are the silent terrorists; the ones who use others and their issues for their own ends.”
    I never have thought it is the sole responsibility of SF to deal with IRA criminality or terrorism. Personally I don’t give a toss about the robbery

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Would Senator Brian Hayes, Leader of his party in the Senate and spokesman on “Northern Ireland”, label Padraig Pearse and Michael Collins as criminals just as quickly? Or is it just that to commit a criminal act , in his eyes, one needs to be convicted of it – even if its only a Kangaroo (Diplock of Special Criminal) Court.
    By that logic those who carried out the Northern Bank raid aren’t criminals…..

  • Davros

    Michael Collins favoured No-Jury Courts….

  • aquifer

    ‘oppression, repression, poverty, hunger, despair and hopelessness. ‘

    How much of this has been invited to nationalist areas by the PIRA campaign? The decision by members of the then Irish government to fund the traditional Provos against the left-wing officials was a disasterous and criminal act for generations in those areas. The way the Provos operate, using work and social connections to target people who are usually protestant, was inherently divisive and sectarian, and likely to feed the same job discrimination the Provos would claim as an excuse for their criminal attacks.

  • Davros

    Not to mention attacks such as the Niedermayer case which caused Grundig to cancel plans to build in a Nationalist employment blackspot. It’s a bit much for anybody from SF or the IRA to point at employment problems in nationalist areas when they have contributed so greatly themselves.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Ah yes – two espousers of the view that catholics were to blame for anti-catholic sectarianism… isn”t it great that people can deny this type of sectarianism without incurring the public opprobium attracted by those who deny the Holocaust….

  • Davros

    Classic attack on the posters rather than the post from OC.
    Care to address the Nierermayer case OC?
    Of course not. Nothing can be allowed to divert you from your MOPE bleatings.