Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins has responded to Sinn Féin’s decision to oppose an extension of the Offences Against the State Act (OASA) in the Dáil today.
Deputy Collins commented, “Unfortunately, the threat of violence within our country from groups claiming to represent a republican ideal has been a feature of life for a very long time. For many years, the Offences Against the State Act has been an important part of the country’s arsenal in detecting and meeting that threat.
“Today, the threat posed by dissident republicans and organised crime is potent and requires an appropriate response. Today’s vote on extension of the OASA was an opportunity for the Oireachtas to send an unequivocal message to those groups that we will do whatever is necessary to stop them.
“Unfortunately, Sinn Féin chose instead to pass on the opportunity and instead try to have it both ways when talking about dissident violence and organised crime. Sinn Féin oppose both, but will not support the legislation needed to actually do something about them.
“In Fianna Fáil we look forward to the day when OASA can be scrapped and have worked hard for many years to move the country further along that road. However, opposing extension of the legislation while a threat remains, serves only to encourage those who pose the threat.
“Today’s posturing in Dáil Éireann served as a timely reminder of the rank hypocrisy and compromise at the heart of Sinn Féin’s justice and security policy.”