Relatives of RUC victims meet Taoiseach
BY DEREK COPLEY
The Relatives for Justice group met with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Government Buildings in Dublin on Wednesday, 19 July.
The relatives had come to the capital to impress upon the 26-County government the need to resist any attempts by the British not to bring about `a new beginning in policing' as stated in the Good Friday Agreement. They emerged from the meeting with an overall feeling of satisfaction.
``We feel it went well,'' said Mark Thompson (co-ordinator of Relatives for Justice), afterwards. He remarked how everyone had an opportunity to ``voice their concern over British attempts to dilute the Patten Report''. He noted that Ahern had been enagging with the British on Patten in recent days and said that the group had asked him to firm up that approach. ``We have received a commitment from him that the Irish government are not going to allow the Patten proposals to take any form of dilution and that they are going to make the British adhere to them and that they are going to be forceful in that.''
``The Peace Process hinges on policing and if it is not acceptable for these people and the communities they come from, then everything is at its peril.''
The meeting, which lasted for almost an hour, was attended by nearly 20 members of the Relatives for Justice group, among them their chairperson, Monsignor Raymond Murray, who has a long and distinguished record in highlighting human rights issues in the Six Counties.
He stressed that the meeting was a source of ``great comfort'' for the relatives of those killed by the RUC. He added that the meeting was also a great learning process for the Taoiseach.