Dáil Éireann - Volume 519 - 17 May, 2000
Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle Rory O'Hanlon
122. An Leas-Cheann Comhairle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps being taken to ensure that the RIR is accompanied by an RUC officer when on patrol in nationalist areas;  and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13888/00]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The Irish and British Governments, in their Joint Communiqué of 15 November 1985 undertook that the Anglo-Irish Conference would consider the application of the principle that the armed forces operate only in support of the civil power. The particular objective was to ensure as rapidly as possible that, save in the most exceptional circumstances, there is a police presence in all operations which involve direct contact with the community.
There has been a steady improvement in the level of accompaniment since then, in particular since the ceasefires. Any incident of unaccompanied patrolling by the British Army, including the RIR, which is reported to us is pursued immediately with the British authorities through the framework of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.
Dáil Éireann 519 Written Answers Northern Ireland Issues.