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McGuinness - Collusion went right to the top

24 January, 2007

A Sinn Féin delegation led by Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP and including Louth TD Arthur Morgan and Assembly members Alex Maskey and Caitriona Ruane today held urgent talks with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern in Dundalk. The meeting which was held at the request of Sinn Féin was to discuss the very serious implications of the Police Ombudsman report into British State involvement with loyalist death squads.

Speaking after the meeting Mr McGuinness said:

"The report by the Police Ombudsman is I believe the beginning of the process to uncover the full extent of collusion and the involvement of the most senior political figures in the British system in it. Collusion was a British policy, it was about upholding the Union and its result was a campaign of State terrorism in Ireland.

"The former RUC Assistant Chief Constable Raymond White admitted in a Sunday newspaper that British Ministers and senior officials were 'regularly briefed' on undercover operations and that he personally had briefed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This goes right to the very top.

"I impressed upon the Irish government today that a passive role on this issue is no longer an option for them. They must join with Sinn Féin and the families of those killed and injured through this British policy in demanding that the British government come clean. They must rigorously pursue those instances where the collusion policy directed from Whitehall resulted in attacks in the 26 counties. They must join with us in demanding that any serving members of the PSNI involved in this activity are drummed out of policing." ENDS

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