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SDLP insult to Collusion victims families

13 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member John O'Dowd has slammed the SDLP for not bothering to turn up and meet the families of those killed through collusion when they visited Stormont yesterday.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Yesterday representatives of over 100 families of those murdered by the British State through their policy of collusion visited Stormont to meet with various political parties. The SDLP having ignored the issue for decades have recently been vocal in their support for inquiries into the murder of Pat Finucane and others. Yet when given the opportunity to meet with the families yesterday the SDLP could not even do the courtesy of turning up.

"In contrast the Deputy leader of the Alliance party and a number of Sinn Féin Assembly members did attend the Long Galley meeting and discussed in some detail with the group their plans for the campaign in the future.

"The failure of the SDLP to send even one MLA to meet with the victims families is both insulting and completely unacceptable. It exposes in a very real way the political opportunism which underpins the recent public support which the SDLP have give collusion families.

" The SDLP leader Mark Durkan needs to explain to the families and indeed to the broader nationalist and republican community why they chose to insult and ignore the victims of British State violence in this disgraceful manner." ENDS

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