Attorney-General of the Irish Republic

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th February 1989.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow 12:00 am, 13th February 1989

To ask the Attorney-General when he last met the Attorney-General of the Republic of Ireland; and what matters were discussed.

Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells

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.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow

As the right hon. and learned Gentleman has possibly had a telephone conversation this morning with the Irish Attorney-General, what message does the right hon. and learned Gentleman have for lawyers and solicitors in Northern Ireland in the light of last night's tragedy?

Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells

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.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Vale of Glamorgan

Is my right hon. and learned Friend able to take any steps to bring Mr. Ryan to justice through a trial, either in the Irish Republic or in this country?

Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells

The Irish Attorney-General has had the papers concerning Mr. Ryan since last month. Those papers were sent with a view to his prosecution being considered by the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Walsall North

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?

Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells

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.