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Dublin dismayed at London’s alleged plan to introduce prosecution ban for N. Ireland army veterans amid Brexit turmoil

Dublin dismayed at London’s alleged plan to introduce prosecution ban for N. Ireland army veterans amid Brexit turmoil
Dublin has blasted a reported proposal that London will take unilateral action and introduce a ban on prosecuting Northern Ireland veterans from allegations of unresolved crimes during the ‘Troubles’ as Brexit tumult continues.

Speaking on Thursday, the spokesman for Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney announced his government’s disapproval with London’s alleged proposal. He said Dublin had been in touch with Westminster about their commitments to the Stormont House Agreement and “strongly advised against any unilateral action on such sensitive issues.” 

“We reiterated that only through a collective approach can we deal with these issues comprehensively and fairly in a way that responds to the needs of victims, survivors and society as a whole. Victims and their families are the only priority,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by the Press Association. 

On Wednesday evening, the Daily Telegraph reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is preparing to bring in new legislation next week which would grant Northern Ireland army veterans immunity from prosecution. 

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Unsolved crimes from Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ remain a sensitive issue. One part of the Stormont House Agreement, signed by the UK and Irish governments and main Northern Ireland parties in 2014, proposes a new independent investigation unit to re-examine all unsolved deaths during the three decades of sectarian conflict between Irish nationalist militants, pro-British “loyalist” paramilitaries and the UK armed forces. 

Around 3,600 people died during the confrontations and it remains a sensitive issue 23 years after the Good Friday Agreement was struck. 

In recent months, pro-British groups have taken to the streets, protesting against the Brexit deal which sees them cut off from the rest of the UK and effectively still part of the EU’s single market. 

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