Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
234. Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the circumstances surrounding the importation of explosives here by a Slovak national; the action he has taken to have this matter investigated here and in Slovakia; the reason he did not summon the Slovakian Ambassador and make a formal protest in view of the cross-border nature of the incident; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2358/10]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): I share the Deputy’s concern at the sequence of events which led to members of the Garda Síochána recovering a quantity of explosive material which had inadvertently been brought into Ireland in the luggage of a passenger who had flown into Dublin from the Slovak Republic on 2 January. My colleague, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, has asked the Garda Commissioner for a full report on the matter. I understand that the Commissioner has appointed a Chief Superintendent to investigate fully the circumstances surrounding the incident. As the investigation remains ongoing, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the particulars of the incident and the investigation itself at this stage.
Following the incident, I spoke by phone to my Slovak counterpart. I stressed the seriousness with which the Government viewed the incident and my colleague offered his apologies for what had happened. Earlier, the Slovak Minister for the Interior had spoken to the Minister for Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to convey his Government’s profound regret for this incident. The Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Ireland had contacted officials from my Department and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform further expressing regret in relation to this matter.
There can be no doubt that the Slovak authorities are fully aware of the seriousness with which we in Ireland view this incident. Notwithstanding this, Ireland retains, and wishes to continue to retain, a positive, friendly and fruitful relationship with the Slovak Republic, which is a fellow member of the European Union.
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