Such blatant disregard for the due process of law is in defiance of political and social acceptability, and such disregard should not be consequence-free. Hiding behind parliamentary privilege in the antediluvian chamber of the House of Lords is the epitome of political cowardice.
Also, it can have fatal consequences.
On February 12, 1989, Pat Finucane, a Belfast-based human rights solicitor, was murdered shortly after Douglas Hogg, a senior minister in the Conservative government, stated in the House of Commons that “some solicitors in Northern Ireland were sympathetic to the IRA”.
This statement was regarded as sufficient reason to warrant Mr Finucane’s murder.
It is not unreasonable to assume, therefore, that the purpose of Lord Laird’s publicity stunt is to create division in the Northern Assembly with the intention of collapsing the Executive.
If this action by Lord Laird is to be seen as a credible attempt to expose those who were allegedly involved in the killing of Sean Quinn, why then were the killers of young Catholics like Lisa Dorrian, Michael McIlveen and Thomas Devlin not subject to the same exposure by Lord Laird, even under parliamentary privilege?