» Friday, March 4, 2005

Northern Ireland

Asked what the reaction was to Gerry Adams turning in names to the police ombudsman regarding the Robert McCartney case, the PMOS said what was important was not so much the reaction of either the British or Irish Governments, but rather the reaction of the family, who were the victims of this crime. What they had said was whilst they welcomed such a move, what they would judge it by in the end was whether justice had been done. The PMOS said that all along, it had been the family who had been the most eloquent people in the "whole sad affair", and it was their words that were most important. The PMOS drew journalists’ attention to the words of the Catholic Primate, Dr Sean Brady, who said yesterday that Catholics in Northern Ireland should set aside their historic suspicions of the police, and co-operate with the police service in Northern Ireland, particularly with reference to the murder of Robert McCartney, but not just in relation to that. The Government, clearly, would welcome such comments.

Asked if this was potentially a turning point, as there had not been anything similar before, the PMOS said he was wary of getting into predictions of turning points. What it did show, however, was that communities across Northern Ireland wanted to live in normal societies, where there were not paramilitaries who were carrying out paramilitary activities, or criminal activities. Therefore, the demand that such activities comes to an end was not just a demand that was being led by two governments, but rather one that was being led from the ground by the communities themselves. That applied on the Loyalist side as well as the Republican side.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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