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PC15: Ireland
Closes at 23:59pm on 22nd August
Redgrave | A-Team
As I said in my address to the nation, the attack in Boyle was a deeply terrible tragedy that cost the lives of RUC officers and innocent civilians. There are immediate lessons that need to be learnt, and the Home Secretary will be working with the RUC and the Irish Government to ensure it is never repeated again. We know what happened: the IRA attacked our brave officers and innocent civilians. We know what needs to be done to keep our country safe. The Government is committed to taking action - vital action to save lives - now, rather than waiting.
My condolences to the families and friends of our brave officers and citizens that lost their lives in the coward terrorist attack of the IRA. The fight against terror should be a non-partisan issue, one that all of us are eager to unite around. It is therefor unfortunate to see Labour Shadow Ministers taking to the press and Parliament to spread conspiracy theories and anonymous allegations, labelling our men and women in uniform as "incompetent", and pushing for an inquiry trying to unveil the names of those that gave their lives to protect our democracy and people. RUC's officers need the full support and recognition of politicians, and this Government will continue to do just that while bringing the fight to terrorism. Labour has a choice to make: work constructively with us in the Government, or continue to peddle in political intrigue and media rumors.
Fortunately in this country we have law enforcement forces that preserve, protect and defend our main constitutional rights, and fortunately we have a Government that supports them. A Government with leadership, our Prime Minister was clear, we are going to win this fight, united, by supporting our people and police officers, with this nation united, action will be taken, and terror will be defeated.
As I and the Home Secretary have said, there are operational lessons we ca learn from the terrible trendy in Boyle, where the IRA murdered RUC officers and innocent civilivians. The Government has committed to being open to scrutiny by the opposition on this matter, and we will be sharing all information on the appropriate terms. This enables us to protect national security, while also being held accountable by the nation. By working together, we can continue to tackle the terrorist threat to our nation, and ensure that peace and security is a reality experienced by all. It is a goal - a peaceful and secure Northern Ireland within a peaceful and secure United Kingdom - that this Government is dedicated to achieving, and I am pleased that the opposition has committed to working with us on this.
The terrorist attack at Boyle was no doubt an unimaginable tragedy, one that the IRA will most certainly have to answer for. I believe it is critically important, however, that as we resolve ourselves to bring the fight to the IRA we also pay tribute to the incredible work of the hardworking RUC officers. Let us not forget, it is because of them that Britain successfully captured Kevin McKenna, the leader of the IRA's Army Council and the mastermind behind some of their greatest acts of terror. His capture and subsequent arrest has dealt a lethal blow to the IRA, and is a victory for the security of Northern Ireland and the safety of the whole of The United Kingdom. I know all of my colleagues in Parliament, both in the Government and the Opposition, will join me in thanking the incredibly brave men and women of the RUC for their professionalism and bravery. It is because of them that this evil terrorist has been captured, and that every British person can now sleep better at night knowing we are one step closer to true safety and peace.
Act of terrorism in Boyle is an unconscionable tragedy, a bomb was exploded in an area with several residential places and 17 people have died and now we are seeing that Labour accusing our police force which was the target of this attack of being incompetent. Blaming the victim but never blame the attacker, that is just unacceptable. RUC officers have been targeted and all Labour offers to them is accusations based on nameless rumours and media frenzy. Callousness and opportunism of Labour Party has gone too far and only thing I can say to them is they should be ashamed of themselves.
Just spoke in the House about the last events of terrorist cowardice in Ireland. We have to honour and side our law enforcement officers, helping and providing them with the necessary tools to fight terror, one of the tools is the respect and unity of people's representatives, only with this we will defeat terror, that's why I ask the Shadow Secretary to apologize for calling our RUC officers, that some of them lost their lives for us, incompetents, this will be the first step to the final defeat of terror.
It is truly disheartening to see the way senior Labour MPs have lined up in front of the cameras to humiliate our the brave officers of the RUC in order to score what they hope will be a political victory against me personally. I will take the criticism, I will answer their questions, and I will accept full and total responsibility for this and every mission that I as Home Secretary order. What I will not stand for, however, is to allow any MP to repeat the anonymous allegations we've seen in the media that the officers of the RUC are "incompetent. I simply won't stand for it. There should be one unified response to this terrorist attack coming out of Parliament: what more can we be doing to back our boys in blue and give them the tools they need to defeat the IRA. 

That's what the Conservatives are doing, that's what the Liberal Democrats are doing. Labour, however, are far more interested in finding a way to turn this national tragedy into an electoral advantage. It's shameful and it is weak.

I'm very disappointed to see that Labour has failed to make a single statement congratulating the RUC officers responsible for capturing the terrorist mastermind leading the IRA, Kevin McKenna. Despite having what seems to be all the time in the world to question the competence of the RUC, no one from the leadership of the Labour Party has bothered to speak about the historic arrest of one of the most ruthless domestic terrorists. The RUC have pulled off a massive victory. It is because of the bravery, grit, and love of our country exhibited by these true heroes that the man responsible for some of the worst domestic terror attacks in the history of our nation is now behind bars. He will have to answer for his crimes, and answer to the families of the people he has killed, because of the determination of the RUC. 

You'd think Labour might have wanted to join the Government is honoring these officers for their efforts.
My grandmother was from County Roscommon, and, though I haven't been back for twenty years or so, I want to make some things very clear - people in this corner of Ireland are kind, family-oriented, hard-working, good, generous people. That such pain and misery can be inflicted on them by a murderous organisation, is remarkable. It is a testament to the virtues of moderation, too - the IRA's style of hardline, radical, nationalistic thinking has consequences, and even more lives have been lost. It can never, ever, be patriotic to cause such harm to your own. When I am in Church this Sunday, whether our little Methodist congregation in Montgomery has any influence or impact on the big wide world or not, I will pray for those we have lost. The innocent civilians whose lives and families have been taken away, and the brave Royal Ulster Constabulary officers, who were just doing their jobs, and working hard to keep people safe. They deserve our utmost respect. To give them anything less is to give in to terror. 

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