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Gerry Adams comments on publication of Smithwick Tribunal report

3 December, 2013 - by Gerry Adams TD

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD commenting on the publication of the Smithwick report said:

“The Smithwick Tribunal was established as a result of an agreement in negotiations in Weston Park in 2001 between the British and Irish governments and the political parties.

“Sinn Féin supported the establishment of a series of inquiries, including the Smithwick inquiry, and in a significant and unprecedented development three former IRA Volunteers gave evidence to it.

“Justice Smithwick accepts much of the evidence given by the former IRA volunteers but on the basis of evidence provided by others, including the PSNI and former informers, concludes that while the Tribunal ‘has not uncovered direct evidence of collusion’ that ‘on balance of probability’ some form of collusion occurred.

“People will make up their own minds on this when they read the report

“Sinn Féin supported these inquires on the basis that families had the right to full disclosure of all relevant information.

“What Justice Smithwick describes as collusion is very different in form and scale from the collusion that occurred in the north. During 30 years of war the British state was responsible for structured, institutionalised and coordinated state run collusion and death squads which led to the deaths of hundreds of citizens, including those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan and Dundalk bomb attacks. The British government refuses to hand over vital information on these.

“It is also important to note that while the Irish government has kept its commitment under Weston Park the British government is in clear breach of its commitments having refused to establish an inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.

“The Irish government now needs to increase its pressure on the British government to honour its commitment and to set up the promised public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

“Sinn Féin believes that there needs to be an effective truth process for dealing with all legacy issues. We have repeatedly called on the British and Irish governments to invite in a reputable and independent international body to establish an Independent International Truth Commission which would be independent of any state, combatant groups, political parties, civil society and economic interests.”

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