Belfast Telegraph

Republic should have no say in Northern Ireland affairs

By Samuel Morrison

It seems that three months after pulling out of talks on the Haass issues because of the parading situation in north Belfast the DUP and UUP are set to reengage with the process. The only condition seems to be the establishment of a commission (any commission) into parading in Ardoyne.

If that does happen the graduated response will have turned into a graduated retreat.

Furthermore, the Secretary of State has made it clear that the Republic’s government will be involved in the process.

Dublin has no business being at the talks at all as they are about the internal affairs of Northern Ireland.

Jeffery Donaldson has attempted to justify the Irish government being there on the grounds that the talks will involve dealing with the terrorist campaign which ravaged Northern Ireland for 30 years. There can be no question that Dublin played a major role in sustaining and assisting Republican terrorism. Garda collusion exposed by the Smithwick Inquiry and the Republic’s role as a safe haven to which terrorists could flee with next to no prospect of them being extradited illustrates as much. Data is patchy but it suggests that extradition requests between the UK and Republic of Ireland had a failure rate of over 92% between 1973 and 1997.

However, if one reads the Haass proposals it is obvious that the Republic was not obliged to do anything in relation to dealing with its role in the Troubles. The proposals were solely concerned with Northern Ireland. While the document contains multiple references to the PSNI the Garda is never mentioned once.

It is obvious that Unionists had zero success in getting Dublin to face up to its role in facilitating Republican terrorism the last time out. So what justifies their involvement now?

The UK has no role in the internal affairs of the Republic. Any Unionist worth their salt will play no role in talks which gives them a say in the internal affairs of this part of the United Kingdom.

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