Fianna Fáil must explain failure to act on Undercover Policing – Boylan
Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has called on Fianna Fáil to come clean with what information they have on British police working undercover in Ireland.
In 2015, Prime Minister Theresa May, then Home Secretary, launched an inquiry into the activities of the British Met Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPIOU) amid concerns around the behaviour of these undercover police. Over 50 convictions have been overturned in England and it has also emerged that members of these units were engaging in sexual relationships with women activists from groups they had infiltrated.
Speaking in Dublin today, Ms Boylan said
“We know that at least one undercover police officer Mark Kennedy visited Ireland on a number of occasions and infiltrated a number of campaign groups including Shell to Sea and ShannonWatch. It is also believed that he embarked on a sexual relationship with at least one female activist.
“Sinn Féin has called for the inquiry to be extended to cover the island of Ireland, a request that Theresa May and Minister Frances Fitzgerald have ruled out.”
Ms Boylan who is working with a number of the victims of these undercover police officers said:
“I welcome Deputy Darragh O Brien’s concern regarding undercover officers from the Met’s SDS and NPOIU operating in Ireland. However, Deputy O’Brien would be better served asking his party colleague Deputy Brendan Smith, what ever happened to the Garda Report into the matter in 2011?
“In 2011, Deputy Smith was the Minister for Justice and it is alleged that the Gardaí in a report ordered by his Department admitted being aware of the activities of undercover British policeman Mark Kennedy.”
The Dublin MEP is calling on Deputy O’Brien and his party to answer a number of questions.
“Has Deputy O’Brien asked his party colleague Deputy Brendan Smith as to what were the findings of the 2011 Garda Report?
“Has he contacted his party colleague and former Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to ascertain if he was aware of British Police acting undercover on the island of Ireland while he was Minister? Has he asked Dermot Ahern whether he gave authorisation to the British Met to operate within the Irish jurisdiction?
“Has Deputy O’Brien enquired of his party leader Micheál Martin, who was a member of the government at the time of Mark Kennedy’s activities, why Fianna Fáil did not demand answers of their British counterparts and why they failed to hold their own inquiry into the matter?
“The actions of Mark Kennedy who was most likely not acting alone happened on Fianna Fáil’s watch. The victims of this individual deserve answers and Fianna Fáil must now provide what information they have and explain why they failed to protect Irish citizens from this sinister behaviour.”