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Responsibility on Dáil parties to act on O'Loan report - Ó Caoláin

22 January, 2007


Sinn Féin's Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for a special Dáil debate on the Six Counties Police Ombudsman's report published today that identifies widespread collusion between the RUC and UVF paramilitaries. The report, which also deals with the attack on Deputy Ó Caoláin's constituency office in 1997, should 'serve as a wake-up call for those parties in the South who ignored the issue of collusion for decades'.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: "It is almost a year since the Dáil, with all-party support, passed a motion calling for an independent inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. Last November, the Oireachtas Justice Committee described as 'international terrorism' a series of attacks in the 26 Counties by British-backed loyalist death squads.

"Today, the Six Counties Police Ombudsman's report exposes the fact that UVF units in north Belfast and elsewhere operated virtually as surrogates for RUC officers.

"The Ombudsman's report also finds that the bomb attack on my own constituency office in Monaghan in 1997 was, as I have always argued, an example of collusion. No attempt was made to bring those responsible for the attack to justice. No effort was made to share the intelligence the RUC had prior to the attack with the Gardaí.

"Ms O'Loan's report identifies a number of senior officers, including two retired Assistant Chief Constables, seven Detective Chief Superintendents and two Detective Superintendents involved in covering up collusion in the RUC. Referring to the actions of junior RUC officers, Ms O'Loan states: '...they could not have operated as they did without knowledge and support at the highest levels of the RUC/PSNI.'

"The Taoiseach has repeatedly told the Dáil under questioning from me that there is no necessity for a summit with the British Government on the specific issue of collusion. I would ask him if he can maintain this position in light of the Ombudsman's report and the growing evidence that collusion between British crown forces and loyalist death squads was widespread, systematic, deadly, and went to the top of RUC command.

"As Ms O'Loan points out: 'There is no reason to believe that the findings of this investigation are isolated. Indeed given that many of the failings identified in the course of the investigation were systemic, this is highly likely and the implications of this are very serious.'

"I would also ask the other political parties in the Dáil, who backed the call for an independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, what they intend to do in the aftermath of this report and for a special Dáil debate on the O'Loan report following the resumption. This report should serve as a wake-up call for those parties in the South who ignored the issue of collusion for decades."

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