MEPs to debate motion on IRA “violence and criminality”

Both UTV and RTE report on the announcement that five of the political groups, representing 627 of the 732 members, of the European Parliament have tabled a “strongly worded resolution” to be debated in the European Parliament in Strasbourg next Monday condemning “violence and criminality by the self-styled Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland, in particular the murderers of Robert McCartney” and requesting the use of funds set aside for the victims of terrorism to be made avaiable for any future civil action in the case, if criminal procedures are not able to be brought forward. The RTE report also states “The European Left grouping, of which Sinn Féin’s two MEPs are members, has not joined the resolution.” Updated – to include text of resolution.The UTV report has these details –

The nine-point motion includes a request, which requires European Commission approval, for the use of funds already set aside in the EU budget to help victims of terrorist acts.

Until now, that provision has never been applied to efforts to bring terrorist criminals to justice.

But the motion urges that “providing that the police service in Northern Ireland is unable to bring about a prosecution in relation to the murder of Robert McCartney, the European Union grants a financial contribution in conformity with the financial regulation toward the cost of the legal fees incurred by the McCartney family in their quest for justice by way of civil proceedings”.

Following Monday`s debate on the motion, the full Parliament will vote on Tuesday, almost certainly triggering the clearance of funds which would be crucial in the McCartney family`s ability to carry on fighting its case.

And, from the RTE report –

The joint resolution is tabled by groups from across the political spectrum from the Socialist Group on the left to the centre right European People’s Party.

The liberal ALDA and the UEN, of which Fianna Fáil is a member, have also signed the resolution.

The motion outlines the events surrounding the McCartney murder and points out that Sinn Féin has not called on those responsible or who witnessed the killing to co-operate fully and directly with the police.

It also deplores what it calls the whispering campaign aimed at discrediting the McCartney sisters and his fiancée.

The resolution says that if the PSNI cannot secure a conviction then the European Commission should help fund the McCartney sisters in any civil proceedings.

The five groups represent 627 of the 732 members of the European Parliament.

The European Left grouping, of which Sinn Féin’s two MEPs are members, has not joined the resolution.

It will be the first item on the agenda at Monday’s plenary session in the parliament.

Update Courtesy of Richard Develan’s sicNotes

We have a link to the full text of the resolution to be put before the European Parliament on Monday 9th May.

Worth noting in particular are points 3 and 4 –

The European Parliament

1. Condemns violence and criminality by the self-styled “Irish Republican Army” (IRA) in Northern Ireland, in particular the murder of Robert McCartney;

2. Stresses in the strongest possible terms that the sisters and partner of Robert McCartney deserve the fullest support in their pursuit of justice;

3. Calls on the leadership of Sinn Féin to insist that those responsible for the murder and witnesses to the murder cooperate directly with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and be free from the threat of reprisals from the IRA;

4. Deplores the insidious whispering campaign aimed at intimidating and discrediting the sisters and fiancée of Robert McCartney in their fight for justice[emphasis added]

5. Calls on the Council and Commission to provide all appropriate assistance to law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland to see that the murderers of Robert McCartney are brought to justice.

6. Proposes that, if the Police Service of Northern Ireland is unable to bring a prosecution in relation to the murder of Robert McCartney, the European Union grant a financial contribution, in conformity with the Financial Regulation, toward the cost of legal fees incurred by the McCartney family in their quest for justice, by way of civil proceedings;

7. Asks in this connection that the Commission should make such a contribution from the budget line in the general budget of the EU intended for aid for the victims of terrorism;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and candidate countries, and the Council of Europe.