Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile has said the British government must honour its commitments to implement the Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms and withdraw its plans to legalise, through an amnesty, the killing of Irish citizens by its armed forces and loyalist forces.
Senator Ó Donnghaile was speaking following the passing of the motion tonight in the Seanad “totally rejecting” the British government’s plans for dealing with the past by granting its armed forces an amnesty for the killings it was involved in publicly and privately.
Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:
“The relatives of those who died in the conflict and the relatives of those killed by the armed forces of the British government, and through collusion by loyalists, can take comfort from the passing of tonight’s motion in the Seanad.
“The all-party motion was passed with the needs of relatives in mind and in an endeavour to pressurise the British government to honour its commitments to implement the Stormont House Agreement and withdraw its plans to legalise, through an amnesty, the killing of Irish citizens by its armed forces and loyalist forces.
“Tonight’s motion is the latest public expression opposing the British government’s amnesty plan.
“It follows opposition from the Irish government, all the political parties in Ireland, the Irish Catholic Bishops, the US Seanate and Congress, the US Ad-Hoc Committee The UN Special Rappoteur Amnesty International, Human Rights Commissioner for the Counsel of Europe, the British Labour Party, the Law Society in the North and crucially the relatives of those killed and maimed.
“The British government’s amnesty proposals not only protect those in its armed forces who publicly killed people on the streets of the north in several massacres: Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, Springhill/Westrock, New Lodge Road and other individual killings.
“Amnesty also protects those in its armed forces who directed the loyalist campaign of killings and those in the British cabinet who authorised it and protected those involved.
“The British government and its armed forces are not about the law.
“It must listen to the call made tonight in the Seanad and the calls from across the world to withdraw its amnesty plan and fully implement the Stormont House Agreement.”