Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McGuinness endorses Collusion Campaign

20 January, 2004

At a press conference chaired by Martin McGuinness today details were revealed of a mass picket by Firinne - the campaign group made up of families of victims of collusion - at MI5 headquarters in London. Speaking at the press conference, Martin McGuinness said:

"Yesterday's confirmation by the Police Ombudsman that there was no serious attempt to find those responsible for the murder of Sean Brown in May 1997 underlines the multi-layered nature of collusion. Today the Finucane family are in court in an attempt to have the murder of Pat Finucane properly examined. The lengths to which the British government has gone to prevent this is itself confirmation of how much the British system has to hide.

"Collusion - the control and direction of the loyalist death squads - was a British state policy endorsed at the highest political level of the British government. Investigating collusion, the head of the Metropolitan Police, John Stevens, confirmed that British state agents had been involved in collusion - including involvement in murder. British Intelligence recruited, or placed, large numbers of agents in the loyalist paramilitaries.

"Loyalist paramilitaries 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, and distributed among the loyalist death squads.

British Intelligence updated and organised loyalist intelligence documents to ensure that targeting by the loyalist death squads was, to quote a British intelligence report, 'more professional'.

The British state created an efficient sectarian murder machine and set it loose on the nationalist community in the north of Ireland.

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

No member of the Special Branch or British military Intelligence has been indicted for these crimes in which they were centrally involved.

No political leader has been held accountable for this policy. Indeed, the policy of collusion has never been reversed. It remains intact.

The British agencies, which executed this policy, remain in place today.

"On February 4, 100 relatives of the victims of this policy will be in London to protest at this policy of state sponsored murder. The group will picket those directly responsible for the policy of collusion in Ireland - the Ministry of Defence, MI5 Headquarters and Tory party headquarters in central London.

"On behalf of Sinn Fein I want to endorse and support the families in their search for the truth and their campaign to expose these activities of British state agencies over the last three decades."ENDS

Firinne also held a picket at Belfast High Court this morning calling for the immediate publication of the Cory Report.

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