Sinn Féin - On Your Side

British need to quickly grasp collusion scandal

5 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has called on the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy to get a grip of the Castlereagh Collusion scandal and make an urgent public statement on the issue.

Mr Maskey said:

"Since returning from the USA Paul Murphy obviously unimpressed by Ian Pearson's handling of the Civil Service dispute got personally involved in efforts to find a resolution. Ian Pearson's performance regarding the ongoing Castlereagh collusion scandal has been even more inept.

"As British Security Minister with responsibility for these matters Mr Pearson at first attempted to suppress the story. He has directed in alliance with the PSNI Special Branch a deliberate cover-up of the circumstances of this security breach. He has ensured the lives of up to 400 people have been placed in danger and is refusing to inform them of this fact.

"However, ultimately the buck has to stop with Paul Murphy. He is supposed to be in charge at the NIO. Yet when faced with a major collusion scandal under his very nose he has adopted the same approach as his predecessors when the Brian Nelson story was first emerging. He has stayed silent. He has allowed peoples lives to remain in danger and he is endorsing the cover-up strategy of the securocrats within his department.

"This issue will not go away. It is far too serious for that. Sinn Féin will continue to raise this issue at every opportunity with the two governments and also through our representatives in Europe and the USA. It is an indictment of British policy in Ireland that ten years after the IRA cessation that the apparatus and mechanisms which controlled and ran the collusion policy are still in place and still active." ENDS

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