Ahern: No release for McCabe killers

08/02/2005 - 20:10:14

The Government said tonight it was no longer prepared to risk releasing the killers of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe to secure a peace deal in the North.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern made the comment while supporting an opposition motion in the Dáil calling on Republicans to abandon violence and embrace democracy.

Mr Ahern said: “It was a risk that the Government was prepared to take in the particular circumstances of closure.

“However I have now made it clear that the question of the early release of the killers of Det Gda McCabe is no longer on the table.”

Last December, Mr Ahern provoke outrage when he said that the four IRA men convicted of the 1996 killing could be freed early if a power-sharing deal was reached in Northern Ireland.

The controversial issue, which was a key Sinn Féin demand during negotiations, was a contentious part of tonight’s Fine Gael private member’s motion.

However, when opening the debate, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny confirmed that agreement had been reached with the Government on the issue after intensive dialogue.

He said: “I welcome Mr Ahern’s statement in which he confirmed that this matter is off the table and that he does not envisage it being out back on the table.”

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