Francie Molloy, MP for Mid Ulster speaking in Armagh last night on a panel discussion on dealing with the past said that “collusion happened not just at the highest levels of the British establishment but also at the highest levels of Ulster Unionism.”
Mr Molloy was joined on the panel by independent MLA, John McCallister, Anne Calwallader (PFC), Paul Butler (RfJ) and Mary McCallen (WAVE) to discuss how we deal with the past.
Mr Molloy said:
“While those, including the SDLP, who lectured Sinn Féin that ‘Collusion was just an Illusion’ are now coming to accept that it was in fact a reality, I would warn them against believing that it was just the British government and its so-called security forces that were involved.
“Ulster Unionism at the highest levels was also complicit in that dirty war. I witnessed first-hand, Ulster Unionist MP, Harold McCusker in discussion with leading UVF men in Charlemont, two days before Denis Mullan was murdered in his home at Collegeland, just a short distance from where the meeting took place.
“The question has to be asked, what was Harold Mc Cusker talking to the UVF about? Why were they meeting in the back yard of UDR man, George Elliott and what were leading UVF men, Ted Sinclair and Billy Corrigan meeting with the Ulster Unionist MP about?
“This type of relationship between Unionism, loyalism and so-called security force members had tragic consequences for Nationalists who could not trust any sector of state authority, including the dominant political party to deliver protection and justice.
“Republicans/nationalists had no recourse to normal mechanisms of justice to address their grievances.”
Following questions and a suggestion from John McCallister that the Assembly needed reformed to “normal politics” Mr Molloy stated that “there would be no going back to one party or Direct Rule at Stormont and if unionists refuse to share power on a voluntary basis then joint sovereignty pending national reconciliation should be introduced to manage the change.”