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Smithwick Tribunal

Volume 551: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2012

7. What discussions she has had with the Irish Government on extending the deadline for the completion of the Smithwick tribunal. (123807)

As yet, I have not had the opportunity to have introductory discussions with the Irish Government, although I have had discussions with the Irish ambassador in London. Although the sponsorship of the Smithwick tribunal is a matter for the Irish Government, I am aware of the recent intention to extend the deadline for the tribunal to complete its work.

It is absolutely crucial that the tribunal is extended because of the revelations in recent times. We need to get to the truth of the matter. These were the two most senior RUC officers to be murdered by the IRA and there is strong evidence of collusion on the part of Irish state forces, so we need to know precisely what happened.

I think we would all agree that what we require is the truth. The Republic of Ireland Government have been asked for an extension, that is true, and we will give all the assistance we can. In recent weeks we have given more help in the form of the evidence we have discovered in the north and we will continue to do so.