Legislation not necessary in the Republic

Continuing the run-up to the publciation of the legislation hinted at by Peter Hain yesterday, there are more reports in the media today, BBC here, Press Association here and RTÉ’s report here – the numbers involved differ according to each report. However the Irish Times picks up on one point ignored elsewhere.. the Irish governments plans. According to the report by Mark Hennessy & Dan Keenan, when, or if, the legislation is enacted by the British government, no new legislation will be required in the Republic of Ireland but that “IRA members sought for crimes committed in the Republic before the Belfast Agreement will be granted an “executive pardon” by the Government, under proposals to be published today”The Irish Times report restrictions to IRA members seems strange given the attempt by Peter Hain to apply the British proposals to all cases.. and the report notes that those still sought for the murder of Jerry McCabe will be excluded from the scheme. But there are other cases that come to mind.. including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

From the Irish Times report

IRA members sought for crimes committed in the Republic before the Belfast Agreement will be granted an “executive pardon” by the Government, under proposals to be published today.

The measures will accompany a move this afternoon by the British government to grant an amnesty to up to 60 so-called “on the runs”, who fled Northern Ireland after they were charged with terrorist offences.

The concession in the Republic will not apply to the men convicted of killing Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, or to two other men involved in the 1996 Adare raid who were never brought to trial.

Legislation is not necessary in the Republic, Government sources said last night, even though the British government is obliged to put legislation to the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Though the Government could operate more quickly, the Irish pardons will not be granted until the British legislation becomes law – which could be quite difficult for British Prime Minister Tony Blair to achieve.

The cases in the Republic will be reviewed by a specially-appointed tribunal, similar to the one which ruled on early releases for IRA prisoners held in Portlaoise Prison after the Belfast Agreement.

  • harpo

    ‘no new legislation will be required in the Republic of Ireland but that “IRA members sought for crimes committed in the Republic before the Belfast Agreement will be granted an “executive pardon” by the Government, under proposals to be published today” ‘

    Just the ‘IRA’? I presume that just means members of the Provos.

    We all know that this issue around the on-the-runs is all about appeasing the Provos , but isn’t that going too far in the ROI? Some special rule that only applies to PIRA members?

    The UK legislation says that it will apply to anyone wanted in the UK – PIRA members right through to members of the security forces. Although I disagree with the legislation (and the whole idea) at least it’s one rule for all.

    Is this just another case of different rules for different people in the ROI? So Provos benefit from it, and members of all other organizations don’t?

    What happens if individuals are identified with respect to the ongoing Dublin/Monaghan investigations and the ROI wants to lay charges against UVF members? Would they get an “executive pardon” too. Under the UK idea they could just turn up, be found guilty and then be released on licence.

    Or like the McCabe case, is it to be one rule for some and another rule for others, depending on how the ROI government feels? The Provos must be appeased so Provos get pardons. But those UVF members wouldn’t.