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Spellar accused of ignoring role of British agents in conflict

8 March, 2004

Sinn Féin West Belfast MLA Bairbre de Brún has accused NIO Minster John Spellar of ignoring the role of British agents in the conflict in the North of Ireland.

Speaking after meeting British government Minister John Spellar in Stormont today Ms de Brún said:

"John Spellar refused to accept that there was British intelligence involvement with unionist paramilitaries.

"This flies against established facts about the involvement of RUC/PSNI Special Branch - MI5 double agents such as Brian Nelson in directing and arming unionist paramilitaries and evidence that British agents were directly involved in the murder of citizens on this island.

"Why else would the British government refuse to publish the Stevens reports or indeed why is it continuing to stall on the publication of the Cory Report into collusion between elements within the British security system, Special Branch and unionist paramilitaries?

"The British government cannot try to absolve itself of responsibility in creating and maintaining the conflict in the North of Ireland.

"It is also astonishing that John Spellar said that there was no evidence that the DUP or UUP had any influence over the activity of unionist paramilitaries.

"Sinn Féin welcome the focus being put on paramilitarism but this demands that the British government and unionist political parties accept their responsibilities in bringing an end to the violence directed at Catholics, such as the attacks last night in North Belfast." ENDS

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