HC Deb 01 July 1982 vol 26 cc1034-5
12. Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the co-operation with the Republic of Ireland over security in the border region.

14. Mr. Molyneaux

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on frontier security.

Mr. Prior

I know from my regular discussions with the Chief Constable that the close and professional relationship between the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Garda Siochana continues to be of great importance in the prevention and detection of terrorist activity on both sides of the border.

Mr. Marlow

Is there sufficient will power in the Republic for such a relationship to continue and has it increased recently? How many people have been apprehended on the Irish side of the border since Mr. Haughey became Prime Minister again?

Mr. Prior

I cannot give the figure for which my hon. Friend asks. I am not even certain that it is in our possession. However, I shall see what figures can be given, although they are not our responsibility. I am satisfied and confident that the joint security effort against terrorism continues at the same level as before.

Mr. Molyneaux

Does the Secretary of State accept that approximately 40 per cent. of terrorist attacks originate in the Irish Republic and that most are directed against targets within 10 miles of the frontier? Despite the attitude of the Government of the Irish Republic towards the Falkland's war, does he argue that they should do their plain duty with regard to the invasion nearer home?

Mr. Prior

I sincerely hope that that will be the case; that they will recognise the importance to them as well as to Northern Ireland of fighting terrorism by every means in their power. Many attacks are launched across the border, although I do not have the exact percentage. The remarks of the hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. McCusker) in the House yesterday will have drawn attention to those terrible crimes once more.