Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Victims of British state terror travel to Brussels to raise the issue of collusion at the European parliament

29 November, 2004

Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald, speaking at a press conference with victims of collusion have said that over 50 relatives of those killed as a result of collusion will travel to Brussels to raise the issue of state murder at the European parliament.

Speaking at a press conference in Belfast today along with relatives of those killed by the British state, Bairbre de Brún said:

"The policy of collusion between British Intelligence agents and loyalist death squads remains one of the most damning indictments of the British presence in Ireland. In the mid-1980s, the British government adopted a policy which gave them greater control of these death squads. The unionist paramilitaries were re-organised, resourced and directed by the British intelligence services to ensure that their targeting, to quote a British intelligence report, was 'more professional'.

"The loyalists were armed with modern weapons. In December 1987 over 300 weapons were brought into the north of Ireland, with the full participation and knowledge of British Intelligence. British Intelligence updated and organised loyalist intelligence documents to ensure that the Unionist death squads would be more efficient.

"Hundreds of people were killed, and many more injured and maimed, in a campaign of state-sponsored murder. The policy of collusion has never been reversed. The British agencies which executed this policy remain in place today.

"The policy of employing the loyalist death squads was endorsed at the highest political level. The British government has never accepted its responsibility for the deaths which resulted from this policy.

"Tuesday 7 December, over 50 relatives of those killed as a result of collusion will travel to Brussels to raise the issue of state murder in Ireland at the European parliament. Sinn Féin, as part of the EUL/NGL group, are facilitating this visit and we support the families absolutely in their demand for the truth and for justice."

Mary Lou McDonald said:

"Over the last 30 years collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads was a daily reality. This resulted in some of the worst incidents of violence including the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.

"The British government continues to hide the truth about these terrible events. They refused to assist the Barron inquiry. They continue to resist the Pat Finucane Inquiry. The British are afraid of the truth.

"We are hosting this first ever visit to the European Parliament by the families of the victims of British state terror." ENDS

Note to Editors

Pauline Davey and Theresa Slane, two of the 50 relatives who will travelling to Brussels also attended the Press Conference.

Pauline Davey Kennedy SOUTH DERRY

Pauline Davey is the daughter of Sinn Fein Magherafelt Cllr John Davey. He was a 58-year-old family shot by the UVF on February 14th 1989 - two days after killing of Pat Finucane.

John Davy a veteran republican interned without trial in both the 50's and 70's was murdered as he return home to his family in Guladuff. He had received numerous death threats including one on the morning of his murder.

The year before John's murder he survived an attack carried out my Michael Stone.

In June 1989 DUP 'politician' Rev Willie McCrea used parliamentary privilege to make unfounded allegations of complicity in the murder of Kenneth Johnston. Similar to the case of Pat Finucane.

John's name was later found among UDA documents found in an intelligence factory - with the words 'dead as a doornail' beside his name.

Pauline has campaigned tirelessly for the truth, like many other family members she has been to Dublin/Leinster House, London, America and now Brussels in the past 12 months to lobby politicians.

Theresa Slane BELFAST

Theresa Slane's husband Gerard was murdered in his West Belfast home September 23rd 1998. The father of 3 was murdered by UDA/UFF gunmen who

burst into his home in the early hours.

Gerard, who tried to fight attackers down the stairs, was shot as Theresa protected her 3 children in the bedroom

The UDA claimed that Gerard was involved in the murder of another man - an allegation that was dismissed at the inquest.

Gerard's case featured in the trial of UDA/British Army double agent Brian Nelson. A picture taken 5 years before the murder in the RUC/British Army Castlereagh holding centre appeared in a UDA magazine following Gerard's death.

In 1991 Loyalists put a door with the words 'Hallo Goodnight Gerard - UVF' along with the registration of the family car on top of a bonfire in Cupar St, that was visible to the family and all other residents of Bombay Street.

Theresa has constantly has been constantly involved in fighting for the truth about those who killed Gerard and has been with An Fhirinne in Dublin and London and now in Brussels (she also took part in the making of our collusion video).

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