Sinn Féin’s TDs walking out of the Dáil during a vote on the Special Criminal Court should leave nobody in any doubt as to where their priorities are when it comes to the security of this Republic, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
“Deputy Mary Lou McDonald’s party failed to support the Special Criminal Court, which has jailed some of the country’s most notorious criminals, on two occasions this week in the Dáil and the Seanad when votes were put to Oireachtas members,” Minister Patrick O’Donovan said.
“They didn’t even opt to use the abstention button on Wednesday night in the Dáil. They walked out en masse.
“It is quite clear they were following orders from central command and their actions spoke loudly to those who direct Sinn Féin’s operations.
“The Special Criminal Court protects Irish citizens against threats posed by terrorism and organised crime. Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys brought motions before the Seanad and Dáil this week to renew the Offences Against the State Act and the Criminal Justice Act for another year.
“It is 25 years since Detective Garda Jerry McCabe and journalist Veronica Guerin were both gunned down in a horrific Summer in 1996. Those culpable were brought before the Special Criminal Court.
“Twenty five years since their murders, Sinn Féin TDs choose to walk out of our national parliament when a vote on extending the Special Criminal Court comes before the TDs elected by the people of this country.
“What does that say? Sinn Féin purport change but in reality they are the same party they were 25 years ago. They don’t stand with this country or its people.
“Sinn Féin candidate for the Dublin Bay South bye-election, Senator Lynn Boylan, failed to appear before the Seanad on Tuesday to discuss the renewal of the same legislation.
“In Limerick, we all know that the most senior figures of the criminal gang that took the lives of innocent men, Shane Geoghegan and Roy Collins, were locked up for life in the Special Criminal Court. More recently in Dublin, thankfully, the same is happening with those involved in the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
“The Special Criminal Court exists to protect us all from the persistent threat of organised crime gangs and terrorist groups.
“It is clear from their actions this week, Sinn Féin stand against the Special Criminal Court, the judiciary, law and order and even more poignantly, the families of all the victims who have witnessed those who took their loved ones brought and prosecuted before the same court,” Minister O’Donovan said.