HC Deb 27 March 1986 vol 94 cc1055-6
3. Mr. Flannery

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has any plans to visit the Republic of Ireland to hold further discussions with the Irish Foreign Minister.

Mr. Tom King

I have at present no plans to visit the Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Flannery

May we assume that when the Minister does speak to his equivalent or to representatives of the Republic of Ireland he will give them assurances that the horrific details of the so-called day of action on 3 March, which are now steadily filtering through to those of us who are keenly interested, will in no way deter the Government from treading the path that they have now decided to tread and that they will not be put off by events of that nature, no matter how many times they are repeated?

Mr. King

There is not much doubt that many of the events of 3 March horrified the overwhelming majority of people in the Province, whatever their persuasion or loyalty. I believe that it is the fervent wish of the vast majority never to see such scenes repeated. I give the assurance that I have given before from the Dispatch Box, that Parliament will not be intimidated by such violence. If it were, the prospects for all in the Province would be much more unhappy.

Sir Philip Goodhart

When my right hon. Friend next communicates with the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Ireland, will he inquire why no attempt was made to arrest Miss Glenholmes on a charge of being a suspected member of the IRA, which is an offence in the Republic? Will he tell the Minister that Dublin's reaction to the Glenholmes affair has reminded some people in this country that too many people in Dublin still have an equivocal attitude to terrorism?

Mr. King

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement on this matter. There is to be a disciplinary inquiry by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. We are concerned to ensure that extradition works effectively and wish to achieve maximum cooperation with all countries, expecially the Republic of Ireland, to ensure that terrorists are brought to book.

Mr. Hayes

When my right hon. Friend next sees Mr. Barry, will he make it clear to him that the Glenholmes fiasco has nothing to do with the Anglo-Irish agreement? Will he make it clear also that many Conservative Members commend, rather than castigate, the Garda for its action? The Garda's political bosses took many political risks on their side of the water.

Mr. King

I note my hon. Friend's comments. I recognise the efforts by the Garda in this respect. I am confident of the good will of the Government of the Republic in seeking to improve the arrangements where genuinely there are terrorists who may be under their jurisdiction to ensure that the procedures that exist between the two countries operate fairly and effectively.