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Noraid Fund Raising

Volume 475: debated on Monday 2 June 1986

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2.47 p.m.

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of the United States of America concerning the raising of funds by NORAID for transmission to IRA terrorists.

My Lords, NORAID's fundraising activities are the subject of frequent discussions between Her Majesty's Government and the United States Administration. We are grateful to President Reagan for his determined opposition to those in the United States who give support of any kind to organisations involved directly or indirectly in terrorism in Northern Ireland. Eight NORAID members and office holders have been convicted in the United States of gun running to the IRA since 1973.

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for that reply. Will she not add that the activities of the IRA, supported financially by Irish Americans, have also caused a great deal of terrorism in the United Kingdom as a whole as well as in Northern Ireland? One thinks of the Harrods bombing and a few other incidents. Is it not almost incredible that this situation has been in existence since 1970 and that discussions are still continuing as to whether or not the United States will outlaw the raising of funds by NORAID to wreak terrorism in our country?

My Lords, we are all aware of the terrorist activities of the IRA both in Northern Ireland and in the United Kingdom as a whole. As for outlawing NORAID, this is a matter for the United States, but there can be no doubt at all of the United States Administration's determination to arrest and prosecute the gun runners.