British Secretary for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley is facing calls for her to resign after she said killings by the British army and police during the Troubles were “not crimes”.
There was palpable anger in Belfast and Dublin at her comments and she met with Tanaiste Simon Coveney late last night in London to discuss
“The fewer than ten per cent that was at the hands of the military and police were not crimes. They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way.”
Her comments sparked outrage in the North with the SDLP and Fianna Fail leading calls for her to resign.
Fianna Fail said her comments were “a two-fingers” to the victims of such killings during the troubles.
Ms Bradley, on foot of the controversy, was forced to clarify her remarks in the House of Commons, insisting she was not referring to anyone incident and was “giving a general view.”
Mr Coveney said the position of the Irish Government is clear.
“There should be effective investigations into all deaths during the Troubles, regardless of the perpetrator. That is what is provided for in the legacy framework of the Stormont House Agreement and it is imperative we move forward with its implementation,” he said.
“There are no amnesties from prosecution provided for in the Good Friday Agreement or any subsequent agreements including the Stormont House Agreement. The Irish Government has been clear that it would not support any proposal to introduce such a measure, for state or non-state actors,” he added.
“She should withdraw the remarks and I would concur with the calls for her to consider her position,” Fianna Fail's Brendan Smith said.
The Northern Secretary issued her comments on a day when the British prime minister Theresa May said the Ministry of Defence was considering introducing legislation to ensure that British soldiers were not unfairly pursued through the courts.
Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill said Ms Bradley’s comments were “offensive and outrageous”.
The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the comments were “absolutely appalling”.
He added: “Once again Karen Bradley has exhibited her stunning ignorance about the past. Such comments, albeit always wrong, are particularly insensitive given the Bloody Sunday families await news on whether former British soldiers will be prosecuted for murdering 14 innocent civilians on the streets of Derry.
“Karen Bradley has a responsibility to apologise to families of state violence, as well as setting aside time to read a book on the history of Ireland ”
Sister of man killed on Bloody Sunday calls for NI Secretary's resignation
The sister of a young man shot dead on Bloody Sunday in calling for Britan's Northern Secretary to resign.
It is after Karen Bradley claimed killings carried out by the security forces during the Troubles in the North were not crimes.
She said it was simply people carrying out their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.
Kate Nash, whose brother William died in 1972 - said the comments are extremely insulting.
She said: "She just slapped how many people in this country? She just slapped them across the face.
"It's all done to protect these soldiers.
"Terribly hurt...the woman should go. She's not fit for purpose."
Britain's Northern Secretary has come under fire after claiming killings carried out by the security forces during the Troubles were not crimes.
Karen Bradley said it was simply people carrying out their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.
The controversial comments come a week before the Public Prosecution Service is to decide on whether soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday killings will face prosecution.
Mrs Bradley made the statement in Westminister earlier.
She said: "Over 90% of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists; every single one of those was a crime.
"The fewer than 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes.
"They were people acting under orders and instruction and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way."
Sinn Fein has described the comments as outrageous and offensive.
Mrs Bradley later clarified her statement in a point of order before the Commons.
She said: "At oral questions, I referred to deaths during the troubles caused by members of the security forces.
"The point I was seeking to convey was that the overwhelming majority of those who served carried out their duties with courage professionalism integrity and within the law.
"I was not referring to any specific cases but expressing a general view.
"Of course, where there is evidence of wrongdoing it should always be investigated, whoever is responsible. These are of course matters for the police and prosecuting authorities who are independent of governments."