Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has revealed that Desmond de Silva, whose report on Pat Finucane is due next week, has written to him to say that a part of the de Silva report will touch “on the plot by loyalist paramilitaries to attack you in May 1987.”
Teachta Adams has called on the Irish government to “insist, as the family does, that the British keep to their commitment and hold a public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane”.
Mr de Silva’s letter states:
“Whilst the focus of my Report is Patrick Finucane’s murder, it was appropriate for me to examine it in its proper context. Among the surrounding key issues is the role that was played by the British Army agent, Brian Nelson.
Accordingly, I wanted you to be aware prior to publication that my report touches on the plot by loyalist paramilitaries to attack you in May 1987.”
Commenting on this Gerry Adams said:
“That de Silva in looking at Nelson has also had to look at a plot to kill me comes as no surprise.
“Collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads was a matter of institutional practise by successive British governments throughout the decades of conflict in the North.
“It played a part in the attack in March 1984 in which I and three others were shot and it has already been reported that the British were aware of the planned to kill me in May 1987.
“The role of Brian Nelson and in particular of Brigadier Gordon Kerr (Colonel J) is particularly important. Nelson was a British military intelligence and Special Branch agent, controlled by the Force Research Unit (FRU) run by Kerr. From 1987 Nelson was also the UDA’s senior intelligence officer. He had responsibility for gathering the information on which UDA/UFF gangs acted and killed Catholics.
“It is now a matter of public record that Nelson was given information by his British handlers who also reorganised his intelligence files.
“But he wasn’t the only British agent operating within the UDA. The leader of the UDA group that carried out the killing was a Special Branch agent; the man who was convicted of killing Pat Finucane was a Special branch agent; the UDA man who supplied the gun used was a Special Branch agent and Nelson who provided the information was working for FRU.
“The Finucane family have demanded a full independent public inquiry to get to the truth of what happened to Pat Finucane. This was agreed by the Irish and British governments at Weston Park in 2001.
“The Irish government should insist, as the family does, that the British keep to their commitment and hold a public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.”