Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) is to seek to become a third party in the European Court of Human Rights case being brought by the Republic of Ireland against the UK Government over the Legacy and Reconciliation Act.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “We are on record as saying that the action by Dublin is absolute hypocrisy. The Republic of Ireland was the safe haven from where the PIRA mounted countless acts of terrorism against innocent people in Northern Ireland.

“Terrorists acted with apparent impunity. They could come and go as they pleased, it seemed, without fear of apprehension by the Gardai or prosecution. There’s much that is wrong with the Legacy and Reconciliation Act, but for the Republic of Ireland to mount a case at the European Court of Human Rights is extreme arrogance.

“Dublin should do a little soul-searching before rushing to condemn and challenge the United Kingdom. We want to make sure that the Republic of Ireland is held to account which is why we are seeking to be invited as a third party in any proceedings. In this, we are as one with the UK Government which has already expressed its disappointment over the Dublin Government’s decision.

“Ulster Human Rights Watch deals with a number of cases where it’s clear the inaction, indifference and carelessness of the Republic of Ireland Government, in effect, aided and abetted terrorism. They need to be called out for that and have their own track record held up to critical scrutiny in order to provide remedies to address the legacy of the past in their own jurisdiction.

“While we have serious issues with the Legacy and Reconciliation Act here, it is interesting to note the Republic of Ireland have no structures whatsoever to deal with legacy. Why is this? If the Republic wishes to help victims surely, after all these years, they should at least have some proposals.

“We have communicated our views to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.”