On Thursday, 29 September 1988. As I stated in my answer of 23 January 1989 to the hon. Gentleman, we had a constructive meeting in regard to matters of concern to our respective responsibilities—in particular, extradition between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Last night's tragedy should and does arouse disgust throughout the civilised community. It is, of course, most deeply felt among lawyers but also, I would judge, widely shared throughout the Province.
Arising from what the Attorney-General has just said to my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell), does he agree that the murder last night of a solicitor is a new escalation of the murderous violence in the Province? Does he also agree that those who practise law in Northern Ireland have a duty and a responsibility to their clients? Are not those responsible for the murder demonstrating once again that, whether the violence comes from the Republican or the Loyalist side, these murderers have no respect for the rule of law?
The hon. Gentleman's last remark was quite correct. However, I do not know whether the murder was an escalation of the violence that has beset the Province for so many years. It is certainly an example of violence on a disgusting and totally unacceptable scale, which right hon. and hon. Members from both sides of the House wish to do all that they can to suppress, consistent with the rule of law.