Gregory Campbell visits Merrion Street in Dublin for first time since 1982 with Troubles message

Gregory Campbell has visited Government Buildings in Dublin for the first time in almost forty years in his role as a member of the NI Affairs Committee (NIAC).

By Kevin Mullan
Friday, 18th March 2022, 9:41 am

The DUP MP said he travelled to Merrion Street to deliver a ‘clear message on the Troubles’.

“The meeting in Dublin was my first return visit to the venue where I spoke at a political event in the Irish Republic in late 1982 as a newly elected member at Stormont.

“Back then Unionists quite rightly had severe reservations about speaking in the Republic given that it offered a safe haven for IRA terrorists who were shooting and bombing people in NI.

“They were able to flee to the Republic because the Dublin authorities routinely refused to extradite suspects to NI in order to face trial. The Republic also had in its constitution a claim to the territory of NI which was an affront to many in NI,” he said.

The East Derry MP said that the purpose of his visit was to ‘cut through the simplistic bias that passes for commentary among many in the Irish Republic’.   “When some in the Republic demand that the UK Government comes clean regarding a range of legacy issues under its control, they need to understand the same logic applies to the Government in the Republic.”

Mr. Campbell claimed that not enough action was taken against the IRA by former governments in the south during the course of the ‘Troubles’.

“Thankfully things have changed significantly and we now have a better environment. We now have the prospect of our two countries, NI and the Irish Republic side by side, offering the hand of friendship across that same border.

“It would be unfortunate if some were to use the possibility of a different Government in Dublin as somehow, however implausibly, changing that dynamic. No matter the composition of any Irish Government, irrespective of who it is led by, it will not change the will of people in NI to remain part of the UK Nation and all the tangible benefits belonging to the UK brings us.”