DUP criticises Irish Government's decisions

Monday 28 November 2011 12.13
Peter Robinson delivered his keynote address to party representatives
Peter Robinson delivered his keynote address to party representatives

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and NI Minister for Enterprise & Trade Arlene Foster have criticised the Taoiseach for supporting calls for an inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane and over the troubled economy.

The pair suggested that the "Germans are now in charge in Dublin and that the British taxpayers had contributed to the bailout of the Republic."

The senior DUP leaders were addressing the Democratic Unionist Party annual conference near Belfast.

Mr Dodds suggested that Enda Kenny was trying to neuter the Smithwick Tribunal and criticised him for promising to fly to Washington to demand an international inquiry into Pat Finucane's death.

Mr Dodds said it is time Dublin put its own house in order and that while British government apologies have been made, none has come from Dublin.

He said it was time to look at who helped to finance, train and arm the IRA and accused Dublin of allowing its territory to be used as a safe haven for terrorists.

At one stage during his speech he said: "Mr Kenny, if you come to Northern Ireland to start a selective campaign on the past, we serve notice we are on your case and we are coming after the truth about your state."

Arlene Foster also accused previous Irish governments of having a role in funding and sheltering terrorists during the Troubles.

She said this had resulted in ''hundreds of our loved ones, mostly in border areas, being murdered by terrorists.''

During her address to the conference she said: "Let us not forget that one of the initiatives to help the Eurozone was a bailout fund for the Republic of Ireland and, despite our budget being cut from Westminster, money was found to help the Irish Republic."

She then asked delegates "are they grateful? I'd venture to say that Enda Kenny should be expressing his appreciation for the assistance rather than lecturing us about more costly inquiries."

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson called for Catholics and Protestants to unite to end sectarian division.

Addressing the Democratic Unionist Party, he said that the economic crisis would pass but argued that the lasting challenge was to tackle the causes of division.