HC Deb 12 March 1987 vol 112 cc452-3
9. Mr. Duffy

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has completed his investigation into the raid on the local Ulster Defence Regiment headquarters in Coleraine, Co. Derry on 22 February; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Tom King

RUC investigations into the raid are continuing. Four men have been charged with serious offences; two are part-time members of the Ulster Defence Regiment. I understand that the Ministry of Defence has convened its own internal board of inquiry, which has reported its findings and those are now being studied. A review of security at all UDR bases and establishments is being carried out. In the meantime, the Ministry of Defence has put into effect a number of measures to improve security at the Coleraine UDR base.

Mr. Duffy

Does the Secretary of State recall the concern that has repeatedly been expressed in the House about the role and integrity of the UDR? What reassurance does he envisage offering to hon. Member's when a Loyalist gang can still get into UDR barracks, round up the entire arsenal, load it into a UDR vehicle, and get away, but for the RUC?

Mr. King

The answer to that is on the basis of information that was provided by a UDR member. As the House may know, I take an extremely serious view of this incident, which could have had the gravest consequences. I pay tribute to the action of the RUC, which so quickly repossessed a substantial number of weapons and an amount of ammunition. Obviously, this is a matter of great concern. I do not wish to anticipate the outcome of the inquiry, but that is a matter which the UDR takes very seriously..

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