Sinn Féin - On Your Side

O’Brien highlights British policy of collusion with loyalists

1 June, 2011 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking today in favour of a Dáil amendment to a motion amending the terms of reference of the Smithwick Tribunal of inquiry, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O'Brien TD said the party fully supports all families seeking answers about the deaths of their loved ones in the conflict in Ireland.

He said Sinn Féin opposes the government motion which seeks to force the Smithwick Tribunal to submit a final report by 30 June.

O’Brien referred to Sinn Féin's support for inquiries into allegations of collusion, including the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, the Ballymurphy and Springhill massacres, the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry and for the campaign by the family of murdered solicitor, Pat Finucane.

He also highlighted Sinn Féin’s Dáil Private Members Motion last month calling for the release by the British government of files, related to the Dublin Monaghan bombings, for scrutiny by the enquiry.

O’Brien said no one doubted the existence of a policy of collusion between British state forces and unionist paramilitaries adding that in the recent conflict the British Army in the North of Ireland had been guided by training manuals which provided the basis for collusion with loyalists.

The Cork North Central TD said the government's decision to seek an interim report from the Smithwick Tribunal by 30 June and a final report by 30 November of this year is “a mistake which will feed the conspiracy theorists that the government and the gardaí have something to hide”.

O’Brien said:

“Arguments over costs sound petty and irresponsible when set against the desire of two families to know how their loved ones died.

“The tragic loss of all those who died in the political conflict on this island should be acknowledged and remembered. The grief of their relatives and friends must be acknowledged also. They were men, women, children, civilians and members of all the armed groups involved in the conflict.

“Sinn Fein opposes the government motion. We support the proposed amendment tabled.” ENDS

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