Diane Dodds: Why is Taoiseach afraid to meet victim's family?

The DUP's Diane Dodds has called on Taoiseach Micheal Martin to explain why he has refused to meet the family of Ian Sproule, who was murdered by the Provisional IRA in a case where there are allegations of collusion between the terrorists and members of the Garda.

By Diane Dodds MLA

Upper Bann

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Mrs Dodds has been supporting the Sproule family's quest for truth and justice for many years. She said,

"The Republic of Ireland has never been slow to criticise the United Kingdom for supposed failures to investigate cases during the Troubles. It is long past time however that Dublin stepped forward and took the actions they so regularly demand of others.

Ian Sproule was an innocent young man, murdered by the Provisional IRA in 1991. There is clear evidence of collusion in this case with the terrorists using a Garda intelligence file to justify Ian's murder. The then Assistant Chief Constable stated under oath at the Smithwick tribunal that he was satisfied beyond doubt that there was a leak from the Garda to the IRA in respect of Ian's murder.

Despite this there is a continued determination in Dublin to sweep away the truth in relation to this brutal murder. The Smithwick Tribunal highlighted collusion between the PIRA and Garda officers and it brought fresh focus on a number of cases, including that of Ian Sproule.

The Garda Commissioner has refused to sanction an investigation, and last year I had also written to the Micheal Martin asking him to meet with the Sproule family. This latest request was also snubbed. Such a refusal stands in stark contrast to the position taken on any case where there are supposed failures on the part of authorities within the United Kingdom.

The Taoiseach needs to explain why he is afraid to meet the family of an innocent man murdered by the PIRA."

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