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Why the truth about Collusion is so crucial

13 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Vice President, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that it is vital that the issue of collusion is dealt with in the September talks.

Speaking today Mr Doherty said:

"Both governments have promised intensive negotiations in September with the stated aim of resolving all outstanding issues to the full and faithful implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Since the IRA ceasefire of 1994, Republicans have taken initiative after initiative to advance the Peace Process. Many of these initiatives have created major misgivings within the republican/nationalist community, because of the intransigence and belligerence from political unionism allied with the British government's adoption of the unionist agenda of attempting to dilute and frustrate the process of change promised under the Good Friday Agreement.

"The British government has, on three separate occasions, unilaterally suspended the institutions set up under the Good Friday Agreement. It has also failed to deliver on its commitments on Policing, Administration of Justice, Demilitarisation, Equality and Human Rights.

"The British government's failure to deliver on the above issues is directly related to its determination to suppress the truth about its policy of collusion.

"The British government fully understands that the truth about collusion will expose the extent of its Dirty War in Ireland. The resulting domestic and international outcry would focus an unwanted spotlight on the murky state apparatus which implemented this policy and which still remains intact.

"Most significantly, it would undermine the ability of the NIO to control and manipulate policing, courts and other agencies in the six counties for political purposes.

"However, unless the British government come clean on it's policy of collusion and open up its institutions to democratic scrutiny and accountability, it will continue to be in default of its commitments under the Good Friday Agreement.

"The British government holds the key to resolving many of the outstanding issues in the Peace Process. Does it possess the will? "We will find out in September." ENDS

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