Written Answers. - Unaccompanied Patrols.

Thursday, 14 February 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 405 No. 2

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  13.  Mr. Currie  Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins   if he will outline the explanation he has received from the Northern Ireland Office for the presence of a UDR patrol in direct contact with the community and without a police presence at 3.00 p.m. on Friday 4 January, 1991 at Carland Road, Dungannon; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

  36.  Mr. Currie  Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins   if he will outline the explanation he has received from the Northern Ireland Office for the presence of a British army patrol in direct contact with the community and without a police presence at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday 6 January 1991 on the Armagh-Newtownhamilton Road, one mile north of Newtownhamilton; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Collins): Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  I propose to answer Questions Nos. 13 and 36 together.

I would like to thank the Deputy for bringing these two cases of unaccompanied patrols to my attention. Both cases were immediately raised with the British authorities through the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast where they are being actively pursued with a view to receiving an explanation. I will communicate with the Deputy when a reply is received.

The Government are concerned at the unsatisfactory rate of police accompaniment of patrols of the armed forces, including the UDR, in Northern Ireland. Our dissatisfaction on this matter has been repeatedly conveyed in forceful terms through the Anglo-Irish Secretariat and at meetings of the Inter-governmental Conference. I can assure the Deputy that we will continue to press [435] the British authorities on this issue at future meetings of the Conference.


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