Brexit, ter­ror­ism and search for new Garda Com­mis­sioner all raised by lo­cal deputies


SHER­LOCK ques­tions Brexit ne­go­tia­tor on sta­tus of Ir­ish peo­ple liv­ing in the UK

CORK East Labour Deputy Seán Sher­lock asked the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s Chief Brexit Ne­go­tia­tor Guy Ver­hof­s­tadt, who made a pre­sen­ta­tion to Oireach­tas mem­bers, about an ar­ti­cle that was pub­lished in The Ob­serverIr­ish on July 9 last, in which he wrote very ra­tio­nally about the UK po­si­tion in re­la­tion to cit­i­zens’ rights.

“He re­ferred par­tic­u­larly to third coun­try na­tion­als, the new sta­tus that will per­tain in the UK, the need for sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tions for set­tled sta­tus and the five-year res­i­dence re­quire­ment,” said Deputy Sher­lock. “How se­ri­ously is the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment tak­ing the UK’s ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tion, which is grossly in­sult­ing to any Ir­ish per­son liv­ing in the UK who has set­tled there for years and has an in­ter­gen­er­a­tional re­la­tion­ship and which will set back the cause of An­glo- re­la­tions by years? I would like to know Mr. Ver­hof­s­tadt’s opin­ion on that.”

In re­ply, Mr Ver­hof­s­tadt said keep­ing the in­tegrity of the Good Fri­day Agree­ment is a key el­e­ment for the Par­lia­ment. “We can­not risk the pos­si­bil­ity of Brexit cre­at­ing a re­turn to The Trou­bles that we saw in the past,” he said.

“That is a key el­e­ment for this whole ne­go­ti­a­tion. I found that this point - the risk to the Good Fri­day Agree­ment posed by the Brexit dis­cus­sion - was not touched on suf­fi­ciently dur­ing the whole de­bate be­fore the ref­er­en­dum in Bri­tain. I ac­cept that this is in the past now. Ireland can count on the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment to de­fend the in­tegrity of the Good Fri­day Agree­ment in all its parts. We will never al­low what­ever so­lu­tion is reached to put that in dan­ger. As the EU played an im­por­tant role in the Good Fri­day Agree­ment, it is keen to de­fend its own work and its own achieve­ments.”

SHER­LOCK con­cerned at sus­pected fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism

CON­CERN about a re­cent Europol re­port that shows Ireland as third high­est in the Euro­pean Union for re­ports that specif­i­cally re­late to the sus­pected fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism, was raised in the Dáil with the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice & Equal­ity by Cork East Labour Deputy Seán Sher­lock.

In a re­ply, Min­is­ter Flana­gan said the very high level of re­port­ing iden­ti­fied in the Europol re­port re­flects the im­por­tance of the Ir­ish fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor and the high vol­ume of in­ter­na­tional trans­ac­tions pass­ing through it.

“While all such re­ports are fol­lowed up by an Garda Síochána, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity prove, on in­ves­ti­ga­tion, to have no links of con­cern,” he said. “In or­der to re­in­force this in­ves­tiga­tive ca­pac­ity, ad­di­tional re­sources have also been al­lo­cated to the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Unit (FIU) within An Garda Síochána with the in­tro­duc­tion of ‘goAML’ on June 12, 2017. goAML is an IT soft­ware so­lu­tion specif­i­cally de­signed by the United Na­tions Of­fice on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for use by FIUs through­out the world, which en­sures the fil­ter­ing of Sus­pi­cious Trans­ac­tion Re­ports to iden­tify po­ten­tial links to Ter­ror­ist Fi­nanc­ing.”

“It should also be noted that An Garda Síochána have achieved a num­ber of well pub­li­cised suc­cesses in re­cent months util­is­ing se­cu­rity and op­er­a­tional in­tel­li­gence to dis­rupt ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties which serve to fur­ther demon­strate the ef­fec­tive­ness of on-go­ing counter-ter­ror­ism and TF in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” the Min­is­ter added.

SINN Féin seeks con­sul­ta­tion on ap­point­ment of new Garda Com­mis­sioner

FOL­LOW­ING the res­ig­na­tion of the Garda Com­mis­sioner, Cork South Cen­tral Sinn Féin Deputy Don­n­chadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Tá­naiste Frances Fitzger­ald if the Gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice and Equal­ity, will con­sider meet­ing all Op­po­si­tion par­ties re­gard­ing the process for the re­place­ment of the Com­mis­sioner to en­sure full po­lit­i­cal buy-in con­cern­ing that ap­point­ment.

In re­ply, the Tá­naiste said re­spon­si­bil­ity for that re­cruit­ment lies with the Polic­ing Author­ity and the Public Ap­point­ments Ser­vice.

Séan Sher­lock TD (Lab).

Don­n­chadh Ó Laoghaire TD (SF).

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