Orde has not a scintilla of evidence -Ó Caoláin
Speaking at the unveiling of a Memorial to Volunteer John Francis Green in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, said it was a disgrace that the Irish Government and most of the media had accepted without question the opinion of Hugh Orde on the Belfast bank robbery. He said Orde "has produced not a scintilla of evidence to back his allegations". Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
"I believe there is a securocrat agenda at work. It is a disgrace that the Irish Government and most of the media have accepted without question the opinion of Hugh Orde, who has produced not a scintilla of evidence to back his allegations.
"Sinn Féin negotiator Martin McGuinness has stated that he was told by the IRA that it was not involved. I accept that assurance from a republican whose record in advancing the peace process is second to none. And I ask the Irish government and those sections of the media 'Why do you take without question the word of an appointee of the British government who represents no-one in this country while dismissing summarily that of an elected representative of the Irish people?' I think the Irish people will judge them by their answer.
On the wider peace process, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
"It is clear now that the DUP were unwilling to share power with republicans at this time. I urge republicans to examine the detail of what our negotiators achieved which was substantial. The deal as negotiated would have implemented and reinforced the Good Friday Agreement. I believe that is why British securocrats have been continuously active in undermining that Agreement. They care little for real peace and see only the need to prevent Sinn Féin from entering an Executive in the Six Counties and the inevitable dismantling of the British war machine in Ireland."
Collusion and the killing of John Francis Green
Deputy Ó Caoláin pointed out that John Francis Green was killed 30 years ago on 10 January 1975 by a British death squad that entered County Monaghan. He said:
"Successive Governments in this State turned a blind eye to collusion - the use by British state forces of loyalist paramilitaries to terrorise the nationalist population. The Cosgrave coalition had allowed the investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings to be wound up prematurely a few months before John Green's death. We know from the Cabinet papers that they were informed of the deployment of the SAS in the North. The British knew that they could act with virtual impunity along the border and into this State.
"And so agents of the British state came into County Monaghan and shot dead the young republican we are commemorating today. He was one of at least 47 people who were killed in the 26 Counties since 1972, either directly by British forces or by their unionist paramilitary agents. All of their families deserve to know the truth. Many hundreds of republicans have served thousands of years of imprisonment. Yet British soldiers and RUC members have never been held accountable and their senior officers and the politicians who directed them have never had to account for their stewardship of Britain's dirty war in Ireland.
"The family of John and of all the victims deserve the truth. The British government refused to co-operate in any meaningful way with the inquiries of Judge Henry Barron which included an examination of the circumstances surrounding the death of John Francis Green. That is not acceptable and the Irish Government must take the British to task and make them answerable to international opinion so that their true role in collusion can be made known at last."ENDS