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Adams - it's time for the truth about collusion

24 July, 2003


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking at the launch of the march and rally against collusion said:

"Collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads has been a consistent feature of the 6 county state since its creation.

State forces have shared information, weapons and membership with unionist paramilitaries.

Over the last 30 years collusion became a daily reality and resulted in some of the worst incidents of violence including the Dublin/Monaghan bombings and the reign of terror conducted by the Shankill Butchers.

In the mid-1980s, the British government introduced a new policy to give them greater control of these death squads. The unionist paramilitaries were to be re-organised, resourced and directed by the British intelligence services to ensure that their targeting, to quote a British intelligence report, was 'more professional'.

Subsequently, British Intelligence recruited, or placed, large numbers of agents in the loyalist paramilitaries.

The loyalists were armed with modern weapons. In December 1987 over 300 weapons were brought into the north of Ireland, with the full participation and knowledge of British Intelligence.

British Intelligence updated and organised loyalist intelligence documents to ensure that the loyalists would, in the words of the British Army officer, Colonel Gordon Kerr, (interviewed by the Steven's Enquiry) ' concentrate their targeting on known provisional IRA activists'.

Hundreds of people were killed, and many more injured and maimed, in a campaign of state-sponsored murder.

No member of the Special Branch or British military Intelligence has been indicted for these crimes. More seriously, this policy of collusion has never been reversed. It remains, perhaps less active, but nevertheless, intact today.

The British agencies, which executed this policy, remain in place today. The Special Branch of the RUC became the Special Branch of the PSNI while the Force Research Unit of the British Army has been renamed the Joint Services Group. MI5 continues to operate as before.

The policy of employing the loyalist death squads was not the actions of rogue agents or individuals who overstepped their responsibilities. It was a policy endorsed at the highest political level. The British government has never accepted its responsibility for the deaths which resulted from this policy.

Sinn Féin, along with the families of the victims of this policy of collusion, are organising a march and rally to Belfast City Hall, at 3pm on August 10.

We are calling for a large attendance in support of the families of those who were killed through the policy of state-sponsored murder and to demand from the British the truth about its role, and that of its various armed and intelligence agencies, in the killing of citizens.

Its time for the truth about collusion." ENDS

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