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Truth is not a zero sum issue - Kearney

24 March, 2018 - by Declan Kearney

The 25th anniversary of the murder of Toome Sinn Féin member Peter Gallagher by a unionist death squad was marked with the unveiling of a plaque at the site of his then workplace in West Belfast.

The anniversary event, attended by family members and friends was organised by the Falls Commemoration Committee and coincided with the International Day for the Right to Truth.

Speaking at the unveiling, Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney said,

“Peter Gallagher’s killing was not an aberration.

“It occurred as a result of a step change taken by the British state after 1985. During this period, unionist death squads were rearmed and reorganised.

“Between 1989 and 1993 14 Sinn Féin members, including three councillors, were murdered. Other family members were killed and dozens with connections to Sinn Féin were injured.

“British state actions throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are the reason legacy is so contested today.

“The British state continues to hide behind its national security veto. That is why the Stormont House Agreement has not been implemented and the legacy mechanisms are being blocked.

“Thatcher’s war cabinet tried to set the political agenda in the 1980s and 1990s with a new phase of repression.

“The fact is, today powerful elements of the British political and military establishment are still psychologically at war in the north.

“But there is a new momentum for truth which is not going away.

“Truth is not a zero sum issue. The compromises have been made; now they need to be implemented.

“The British government should immediately release the coroner’s inquest funds; implement the legacy mechanisms; and lift the veto on maximum information disclosure.

“Peter Gallagher never lived to see the peace process. While Ireland is a better place, there is still no reconciliation. More needs to be done.

“Republicans are willing to embrace the challenges and to give leadership: others must do the same.”

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