Terrorism: Security Force Action

Oral Answers to Questions — Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 7th March 2016.

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Photo of David McNarry David McNarry UKIP 2:30 pm, 7th March 2016

T1. Mr McNarry asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister what assurances the First Minister can give that action by the security forces will be swiftly implemented to thwart life-threatening terrorist activity, given that we all support the PSNI and others in their efforts against terrorists. (AQT 3601/11-16)

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

I think that we were all very concerned to hear the assessment from the Assistant Chief Constable on Friday as regards dissident republicans and the fact that they were going to use Easter 1916 as an excuse, if you like, to perpetrate their violence, mayhem, and their agents of death. I absolutely believe that we, as politicians, need to give very strong leadership on this. We need to say that it is entirely unacceptable and reject it, but, more than that, we have to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland to bring these people to justice. It is for that reason that, whilst the find at Larne was very disturbing, the fact that we were able to find it makes for a good news message.

Photo of David McNarry David McNarry UKIP

I thank the First Minister for her answer and ask her whether she considers it premature to upgrade border patrols and the rounding up of terrorist suspects.

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

I hope that the Police Service of Northern Ireland, if it is aware of anyone who has a case to answer, should deal with that issue. I was asked that question on Friday, and my answer then and now is that, with respect to you, this is a matter for the Chief Constable and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The Police Service is in operational control, and it would be wrong for a politician to direct it as to how to do its job. All we can do is give leadership and support him in whatever resources he decides he needs. He will not find me wanting in that respect.