Independent report on collusion recommends British co-operation with inquiry
Ó Caoláin urges Taoiseach to use his influence with British for compliance
Speaking in Leinster House today Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD called on the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to use his influence on the British government to push them to co-operate with a full-scale international inquiry into collusion, under United Nations guidelines and with full access to information in the hands of the British authorities. Deputy Ó Caoláin was speaking after an Independent International Panel on Collusion in Sectarian Killings published its report.
He said, "The Independent International Panel on Collusion in Sectarian Killings has examined murders - including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings - organised from the infamous Mitchell farm at Glenanne, Co. Armagh which was a loyalist base. It concludes that in 24 of the 25 cases they examined there is "significant and credible evidence of involvement of police and military agents of the United Kingdom, both directly and in collusion with loyalist extremists". They also found that "at least some police superiors in Northern Ireland knew of an expressed approval of instances of this conduct, and that senior officials in London had information sufficient to put them on notice of the serious risk of this conduct". This is the first truly international and impartial examination of collusion from a Human Rights law perspective.
"The Report which was presented to the Taoiseach today finds that in 74 murders, including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, there is strong evidence of collusion. It says that knowledge of collusion went to the top and that as early as 1973 senior British government officials were put on notice of the hand-in-glove relationship between the UDR and loyalist paramilitaries. I have called on the Taoiseach to press the British for investigations that will examine how high up the chain of command in Belfast and London there was knowledge, acquiescence or complicity in sectarian attacks on both sides of the Border. The British state should acknowledge its responsibility and provide full information to the bereaved families.
"The Report concludes that there is a strong case for the British government to co-operate with a full-scale international inquiry into collusion, under United Nations guidelines and with full access to information in the hands of the British authorities. I am calling on the Taoiseach to press the British Authorities for such a process, as recommended in this new report, one which does not look only at individual cases but at the systems and the structures which made collusion possible and at patterns of collusion." ENDS