Dáil Éireann - Volume 407 - 24 April, 1991

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Northern Ceasefire Announcement.

4. Mr. Spring asked the Taoiseach if he will make a statement about the ceasefire announced by loyalist para-military organisations having regard to the subsequent sectarian murder of a Catholic; and if he will outline the implications of a ceasefire for the negotiations under the Brooke initiative.

The Taoiseach: I welcome any announcement of a ceasefire by paramilitary organisations. It is particularly tragic, however, that this announcement was almost immediately followed by the murder of an innocent man and other terrorist activities.

With the political process now offering a new way forward, the futility and [938] irrelevance of violence must, as I said in the House last week, increasingly be apparent and the permanent cessation of violence or support for it must surely now be considered by all those who wish to participate in the building of a new and agreed Ireland. It must be apparent to all those who advocate or perpetrate violence that their activities only bring sorrow, suffering and tragedy and are at total variance with the wishes of the vast majority of the men and women of this island.

Mr. Spring: I can certainly agree with the Taoiseach's remarks in relation to the futility and the irrelevance of violence. As we stated in the House last week we welcome the announcement of a ceasefire. May I ask the Taoiseach if there has been any consideration between the British and Irish Governments on the implications of the ceasefire which has been announced and the possibility of a ceasefire being announced by the Provisional IRA? Would that, in effect, have any bearing on the talks that will take place?

The Taoiseach: It would, of course, be very welcome and perhaps in a general way it could contribute to the atmosphere but as far as the talks themselves are concerned, they will follow their own agenda.

Mr. Barry: Would the Taoiseach agree that the most effective ceasefire in the North of Ireland would be one imposed on the paramilitaries by virtue of a political settlement in the North and then imposed by the people there who would tell them to stop their activities which are interfering with the two communities living together? Would he also agree that that can only be done when there is a political settlement there?

The Taoiseach: I would not quite agree with the Deputy there. We would all like to see a ceasefire tomorrow morning if possible, but I understand the point the Deputy is making.

[939] Mr. Spring: I will be very brief. I sought to raise this matter last week. May I suggest that the Taoiseach as the head of Government and the State make a statement on the welcome of a ceasefire; the word has already gone out from here today in relation to a ceasefire from the Unionist paramilitaries. It might be appropriate that the Taoiseach consider a statement issuing from the Government inviting others to do likewise in terms of allowing an opportunity for the talks to prosper, to come to fruition and create a proper climate for the talks in Northern Ireland to allow all the communities to be involved.

The Taoiseach: That is an interesting suggestion.

Proinsias De Rossa: I am sure the Taoiseach is aware of a statement made by Mr. Gerry Adams last week that these talks would go nowhere without their involvement. Can the Taoiseach indicate to the House that the Irish Government have no intention of allowing them, the UVF or anybody else, to exercise a terror veto on these talks, that the talks will continue and that they will come to a satisfactory conclusion regardless of the attitude of these men of violence?

The Taoiseach: I have already indicated to Deputy Spring that the talks will follow their own agenda.

An Ceann Comhairle: A final question from Deputy Seán Barrett.

Mr. S. Barrett: May I ask the Taoiseach if any briefing is given either by the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Department of Justice to visiting dignatories, such as Archbishop Tutu, in relation to the situation in Northern Ireland before statements are made while they are here?

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is adverting to another matter.

The Taoiseach: Briefings are given from time to time as requested but I have [940] no knowledge of any particular briefing in that case.

5. D'fhiafraigh Mr. McGinley den Taoiseach an mbeidh sé toilteanach deontas speisialta breise a chur ar fáil le fad breise a chur le cé Chladach na gCaorach in nDún na nGall.

Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht (Mr. Gallagher): Faoi mar is eol don Teachta, tá oibreacha ar siúl ag an áit seo faoi láthair le cuidiú airgid ó Roinn na Mara agus ó Chomhairle Chontae Dhún na nGall. Tuigim gur mian leis na hiascairí áitiúla go gcuirfí síneadh breise leis an bpiara anuas ar an obair atá ar siúl ann faoi láthair. Tuigim fosta nach bhfuil ar chumas Roinn na Mara cur leis an gcuidiú atá ceadaithe acu don togra seo agus tá mé sásta an cheist a scrúdú féachaint an mbeadh ar chumas mo Roinne-se teacht i gcabhair.

Mr. McGinley: Tuigeann an tAire go bhfuil na hiascairí míshásta nach bhfuil an cé fada go leor. Tá na hoibreacha ansin i láthair na huaire agus tá géarghá le socrú gan mhoill. An bhféadfadh an tAire a rá cén uair a bheidh sé ábalta socrú nó cinneadh a dhéanamh, an mbeidh Roinn na Gaeltachta sásta cuidiú a thabhairt, mar tá sé níos saoire é a dhéanamh nuair atá na hoibrithe ansin, náiad imeacht agus teacht ar ais arís.

Mr. Gallagher: Tuigim cé chomh tábhachtach is atá an piara seo agus an togra atá ag dul ar aghaidh agus is dóigh liom gur féidir liom a rá go raibh baint agam féin leis an togra seo nuair a bhí mé i m'Aire Stáit i Roinn na Mara. Chuir Roinn na Mara £90,000 ar fáil agus Comhairle Chontae Dhún na nGall, £30,000 le haghaidh an togra. Tá a fhios agam go mbeadh sé i bhfad níos saoire píosa a chur leis anois ná sna blianta amach anseo. Tuigim go maith an phráinn atá leis chomh maith maidir leis an obair atá ar siúl, ach ní raibh baint ar bith agamsa mar Aire Stáit Roinn na Gaeltachta leis seo mar ba iad Roinn na [941] Mara agus Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall a chuir an t-airgead ar fáil. Tá mé sásta, áfach, an cheist a scrúdú mar is feasach dom an phráinn a bhaineann leis agus déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall cinneadh a dhéanamh chomh luath agus is féidir.

Mr. McGinley: An aontódh an tAire Stáit, ó tharla go bhfuil an cé seo suite i gceartlár na Gaeltachta, go mbeadh dualgas ar a Roinn féin, Roinn na Gaeltachta, socrú deimhneach a dhéanamh maidir leis an gceist seo.

Mr. Gallagher: Chun a bheith féaráilte fá dtaobh de seo, is é, Roinn na Mara a chuir an t-airgead ar fáil sa chás seo agus bhíomar go léir sásta glacadh leis sin. Chuir siad 40 troigh leis ansin agus tá a fhios agamsa anois go mbeadh sé i bhfad níos saoire 20 troigh eile a chur leis seo ag an am seo. Tá a fhios agam freisin go bhfuil sé i gceartlár na Gaeltachta agus, mar a dúirt mé cheana, tá mé sásta an cheist seo a scrúdú anois. Ní raibh eolas ar bith againn faoi seo go dtí le déanaí, go dtí go raibh cruinniú ag mo chomhleacaí anseo, an Teachta Mary Coughlan, faoi seo. Tá mé féin ag obair air seo i láthair na huaire agus tá mé sásta rud éigin a dhéanamh go luath. Tá a fhios agam go gcaithfear cinneadh dearfa a dhéanamh chomh luath agus is féidir.

Miss Coughlan: Tá áthas orm sin a chloisteáil, agus, sa fhreagra a thug an tAire Stáit ar an cheist is léir dó go bhfuil cinneadh práinneach ag teastáil. Ba mhaith liom féin a iarraidh air gach iarracht a dhéanamh chun airgead a chur ar fáil chomh luath agus is féidir. Tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach an cé seo ag Cladach na gCaorach a chríochnú.

Mr. Gallagher: Aontaím leis an Teachta go bhfuil sé práinneach. Tá mé sásta cinneadh a dhéanamh go han-luath. Tá a fhios agam go raibh rún os comhair Chomhairle Contae Dhún na nGall ón Teachta Coughlan an tseachtain seo caite agus go mbeidh an Chomhairle Contae sásta 25 faoin gcéad den airgead a bheidh riachtanach a chur ar fáil. Mar sin is é an méid a bheidh de dhíth ná 75 faoin gcéad. [942] Cén nach bhfuil ar mo chumas a rá go cinnte inniu, tá súil agam go mbeidh cinneadh á dhéanamh taobh istigh de sheachtain nó mar sin.