Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Maskey meets victims of British State violence

2 December, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey today joined relatives of those killed through State violence at a press conference to provide details of a lobby the families will undertake in Brussels next week. Speaking after the event Alex Maskey, himself a victim of British State terror, hit out at recent SDLP efforts to use victims to try and score cheap political points.

Mr Maskey said:

" In recent days and weeks the SDLP have dishonestly attempted to sell the lie that Sinn Féin had colluded with the British government to see an amnesty delivered for British State forces involved in the murder of citizens.

" Not only is this a barefaced lie it is also deeply offensive to those of us who have suffered British State terror and heard SDLP spokespeople over the years brand allegations of collusion as republican propaganda.

" When I was shot in my own home by the UDA, Joe Hendron the senior SDLP figure held a press conference on the Whiterock Road and informed the media that he believed that I was attacked by fellow republicans. This lie caused deep hurt and offence both for my family, party colleagues and the wider community in which I live.

" The motivation and effect of such remarks was to let those responsible off the hook. There is irrefutable evidence that I was the victim of collusion. Brian Nelson admitted this at his trial. Yet the SDLP deliberately chose to swallow the British line and absolve those responsible for a policy of manipulating and controlling loyalist death squads from any guilt.

" It is instances like this, and there are many over the years, which makes recent efforts by the SDLP to use the victims of State violence to score cheap political points so galling. Sinn Fein did not do a deal on British State forces and the SDLP know this. Sinn Féin are opposed to the British State forces being included in legislation to deal with OTRs. We do not support the passing of this legislation without the clauses relating to the British State forces being removed." ENDS

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