Stormont Hansard 24 July 1968Sean Garland, Bodenstown, 23 June 1968
Mr. Craig: Fortunately there is very little need for me to occupy much of the time of the House. Iwould say to the hon. Member for Pottinger (Mr. Boyd), who is not with us, that I think he was being more than a little unfair. Indeed I think he was speaking to us with a touch of pomposity far removed from reality. To talk about there being no change in Northern Ireland seems to meabsolutely incredible.When one considers the fact that we have some 220 new industries, when one studies our magnificent housing programme and our roads programme, one sees that it is untrue to say thatthere have not been big changes in Northern Ireland. This is the sort of change we want - a levellingup of society, the creation of new and better opportunities for all our people. Every member of theGovernment is fully committed to seeing that the resources of Northern Ireland are so deployed thatall our citizens will have increasing opportunities for living a better life.I agree with the hon. Member for West Tyrone (Mr. O'Connor) that no one can take any exceptionwhatsoever to those who oppose the Constitution of Northern Ireland legitimately. But this is wherethe rub comes in. There is a substantial body of opinion in favour of going beyond what islegitimate in the democratic sense. I would give it to my hon and gallant Friend the Member for Lisnaskea (Captain Brooke) and my hon. Friend the Member for North Londonderry (Mr. Bums)that no one will be allowed to ignore the rule of law or overthrow the democratic authority of thiscommunity. It would do hon. Members opposite a lot of good if they would just stop and assess theway things are going at present. I have every reason to be alarmed at the efforts which have beenmade to strengthen and reinforce the I.R.A and its different affiliations to renew their activity of violence in the community.During the debate on the Appropriation Bill I took the opportunity to read out a declaration of policy - no isolated declaration. Hon. Members must realise that we cannot afford to ignore the bigeffort which has been made and is being made. It would do no harm to read out a few words used by Sean Garland, a prominent member of the Irish Republican Army, when he was speaking at acommemoration ceremony at Bodenstown on 23rd June last. This is what we in Northern Irelandmust face up to and recognise.Mr. Currie: Where is this report from?Mr. Craig: It is from the United Irishman.Mr. Currie: A banned publication. May we see it too?Mr. Craig: If the hon. Member wishes to have any assistance in putting down the illegal forces in Northern Ireland I will help him.Sean Garland's remarks on that occasion must be measured having regard to the position he holds inthis movement. He said:"The traditional policy of the I.R.A up to the present has been to prepare the army for an armedstruggle and use the civil wings of the Movement simply as support groups for publicity, finance,recruits and suppliers of transport and friendly houses. There is nothing wrong with these ideas butthe real and most important function of the civil wing has been overlooked and neglected - that is of being a bridge between the underground activities of the army and the people - the connecting link.