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Fine Gael has questions to answer on collusion - Ferris

30 November, 2006

Sinn Féin has accused Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny of being disingenuous with regard to the finding that agents of the British state colluded with loyalists in carrying out acts of violence in the 26 Counties. Speaking following yesterday's Oireachtas report on collusion, Deputy Martin Ferris said that former Fine Gael Ministers have serious questions to answer about their inaction during the British intelligence backed loyalist bombing campaign of the early 70s.

The Kerry North TD said: "Over a period of thirty years British forces including MI5 colluded with loyalist death squads in the murder of hundreds of Irish citizens. Yesterday's Oireachtas report was deeply shocking detailing as it did widespread collusion in the deaths of dozens of people in this state in the 1970s. There are serious questions to be answered by both the British and Irish governments including those Fine Gael ministers who headed the government in this state in the mid 1970s.

"While Deputy Kenny is correct in stating that hard questions must be asked of the British authorities, following his belated acknowledgement of their involvement in the murder of Irish citizens, his own party has many questions to answer. Former Ministers and the Taoiseach from the Fine Gael/Labour coalition of the 70s during, which the most serious and murderous of the activities referred to took place, need to explain their inaction and their indecision. Indeed, Deputy Kenny was himself a member of that government, and may be able throw some light on the murky machinations of his party at the time.

"At that time Fine Gael denied the existence of, and failed to investigate, substantial evidence of British involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. This included their failure to follow up on an admission from the British government, detailed in a memo released during the summer, that they had evidence the perpetrators of the bombings had recently been interned. The Fine Gael/Labour government led by Liam Cosgrave made no effort to extradite the suspects indicated or to even question them about the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. The information was kept secret and the families of those killed were never informed.

"All of the British inspired incidents were designed to influence the political agenda in this state and Fine Gael above all others were most willing to follow that agenda. The only way that this injustice can be tackled is for the Irish government to demand a summit with the British government addressing the issue of collusion in its entirety, by the British Government in the first instance making a belated full disclosure to the Barron Tribunal, for former members of the Cosgrave administration involved in the discussions with the British Government at that time to do likewise.


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