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Justice Minister welcomes Alan Dukes’ apology for linking Border people with violence

Heather Humphreys said she was upset by Mr Dukes’s remarks, which were made in a three-part documentary about businessman Seán Quinn


Justice Minister Heather Humphreys has welcomed an apology from former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes for disparaging remarks he made about people who live on the Border.

Mr Dukes stated that such people are “more easily” prone to violence.

“I welcome the fact that Alan Dukes apologised for the comments he made about Border people,” Ms Humphreys said in Cavan.

“I’m Border-reared and lived here all my life and so it (his remark) upset a lot of people, including myself. So I’m just glad that he has apologised for saying those things.”

The comments, made in a three-part series on the life of businessman Seán Quinn, were unreservedly withdrawn by Mr Dukes, a former finance minister who had acted in the rescue of one of the Quinn companies.

Referring to the murder of Christopher Mooney in Monaghan yesterday, followed by the death of the suspect in a road-traffic accident, Ms Humphreys said she couldn’t comment on the specifics in the context of an ongoing Garda investigation.

Alan Dukes, who was leader of Fine Gael from 1987 to 1990, has offered an unreserved apology for his remarks about Border people. Photo: Frank McGrath

However, she said it was “a very sad situation in very tragic circumstances”.

She added: “I would say to anybody who has any information to give it to the gardaí, and our thoughts are with the families of those who have been impacted by this awful murder.”

Separately, there was a fatal shooting in Newry on Thursday evening.

Ms Humphreys said she was “not familiar, obviously, with the circumstances of the murder in Newry, but it’s very disturbing to hear such news”.

She added: “What I can confirm is that the PSNI and An Garda Síochána will work together on a cross-border basis to try and solve both these crimes.”

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