The following is an edited version of an address delivered by Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice and Equality, at the first Citizenship Ceremony in Dublin Castle on 24 June. This was the first time a 'rite of passage' ceremony was held to mark the significance of gaining citizenship. Up until now, new citizens swore oaths of fidelity and received their naturalisation certificates at court sittings. Seventy-three people participated in the event.
The murder of Ronan Kerr was killing for killing’s sake, Alan Shatter told the Dail, in a speech that was moving but pulled no punches.
Ronan Kerr was a young Catholic man whose only wish was to serve his community – that he chose to do so by joining the Police Service of Northern Ireland is a sign of how far the people of Northern Ireland have embraced hope. That he now lies dead is a sign of the despair into which these criminal terrorists wish to drag us.
THE Supreme Court decision in the case brought by the Irish Family Planning Association against the Censorrship of Publications Board marks an important watershed in this country's legal and social history. Although the present system of book censorship has been in existence for almost fifty years, this case is the first in which a ban imposed by the Board has been challenged and overridden by the courts. By Alan Shatter