Call for Equality Commission to rule against UDR Memorial
Lisburn Sinn Féin Councillors Paul Butler, Angela Nelson and Jennifer McCann this morning called on the Equality Commission to investigate Lisburn Council over its decision to allow Council land to be used to build a UDR monument. Cllr. Butler said that "the UDR was a carbon copy of the 'B Specials' and like that organisation should be confined to the dustbin of history".
The Sinn Féin delegation handed in a dossier to the Equality Commission detailing the history of the regiment and its collusion with loyalists in the killing of Catholics. The dossier contained a copy of a British Government document entitled "Subversion in the UDR" which was compiled by British Military Intelligence in the 1970‚s outlining British securocrats concern about the regiment's collusion with loyalists.
Speaking after the meeting Cllr. Butler said:
„The Equality Commission have the power under the equality legislation to investigate the council and stop them building this monument. The UDR are an organisation that is surrounded in controversy and this dossier shows clear evidence that members of the UDR have been heavily involved in the killing of many Catholics. This monument, if it is allowed to go ahead will stand as an indictment of the sectarian and exclusively unionist agenda which has been pursued by this Council virtually since its inception.
Cllr Jennifer McCann who has been involved in the campaign to expose collusion said:
"This decision was merely one more slap in the face for the nationalist rate payers of Lisburn, and another indication that unionists on Lisburn Council remain resolutely opposed to any notions of equality or respect for their nationalist neighbours, who naturally will regard this gesture as another attempt to make Lisburn city centre into a cold house for nationalists.
"The UDR was involved in the murder of many nationalists and it has been acknowledged by the British government as being the source for much of the loyalist death squads≠ weaponry. If monuments are to be erected to the UDR then it should be in non contentious areas or indeed within the military bases from where they operated. A city centre is no such place for such a memorial of this kind. A clear message is being sent out that Catholics and nationalists, the victims of this force, are not welcome in Lisburn.
"The decision taken by Lisburn Council to erect a monument to the UDR in the centre of Lisburn has caused much anger and annoyance within the broad nationalist community. This is particularly true for the families of many victims who have suffered as a result of UDR collusion with loyalists. I have no doubt that if this proposal goes ahead many nationalists will simply choose to take their custom elsewhere and boycott shops and businesses in the city centre." ENDS
DOSSIER OF UDR HISTORY INCLUDES EVIDENCE OF FOLLOWING
- Involvement in Dublin/Monaghan bombings
- Involvement Miami Showband killings
- Serving UDR member convicted as one the Shankill butchers
- Serving UDR member convicted of killing Catholics in Lisburn.
- Serving UDR members convicted of killing Catholics in no-warning bomb.
- Harassment of nationalists on a daily basis when the regiment was in existence
- Numerous cases of arms thefts from UDR bases many of which were identified as killing Catholics.
- Close association of UDR with political unionism
"SUBVERSION IN UDR" DOCUMENT SHOWS FOLLOWING
The British government was aware of large-scale collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries from as early as 1973,.
The files show Downing Street knew that significant numbers of soldiers were linked to loyalist paramilitaries, but failed to act.
The collusion file contains a detailed report on "Subversion in the UDR"‚ including estimates of the numbers of soldiers linked to loyalists - while intelligence documents show how more than 200 British army rifles and sub machine guns were passed to loyalists.
This is the first time evidence has emerged to show, not only the scale of collusion, but also that government was aware of it early in the Troubles.
The documents reveal that military intelligence:
Estimated 5-15 per cent of UDR soldiers were linked to loyalist paramilitaries
Believed that the "best single source of weapons, and the only significant source of modern weapons, for Protestant extremist groups was the UDR"‚
Feared UDR troops were loyal to Ulster rather than "Her Majesty's Government"‚
Knew that UDR weapons were being used in the murder and attempted murder of Catholics
Against this background it is significant that as the Troubles unfolded, the government went on to increase, rather than decrease, the regiment‚s role in areas of high tension in Northern Ireland.
The files date from August 1973 - and in the two years that followed UDR members took part in the Miami showband massacre, and was linked to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings that killed 33 people.