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Irish Government must lift lid on collusion - McDonald

10 February, 2007


Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the opening of a Sinn Féin organised conference on the collusion issue in Dublin today said "The lid will only be lifted on collusion if the Irish government makes it happen. They have to confront those within the British system, who directed and controlled this policy, and who are now desperately trying to cover their tracks and conceal the extent of their activities." Ms McDonald also said that "those Ministers in the Labour/Fine Gael government at the time of the Dublin and Monaghan bombs need to provide answers for their failure to act, even when the British said they had interned those they believed responsible."

Ms McDonald said, “Ten days ago I was part of a Sinn Féin delegation to Downing Street as part of our ongoing campaign to get to the truth about the deaths of hundreds of people in Ireland as a result of British state sponsored murder. Next week we will raise this issue directly with Hugh Orde. Sinn Féin will continue to stand with the families in their demand for the truth.

“There are serious questions to be answered by both British and Irish governments including those Fine Gael and Labour ministers who headed the government in this state in the mid 1970s. It is time for the truth from those who sponsored state murder, from those who covered it up and those who did nothing even when they knew what was happening.

“Why did the Fine Gael-Labour government of the day, when they were told by the British that they had interned those who they believed were responsible for the Dublin Monaghan bombings do absolutely nothing? Why did they not seek the arrests of these men? Maybe some of those attending today’s Labour Party conference could answer that question? The families of those killed on that day want answers. They deserve the truth.

“The families of those killed through collusion deserve better than words of support from the present Irish government. They deserve action. It is time for the government to demand answers. It is time for the government to stand with the victims. It is time for them to publicly back demands for an international inquiry into this scandal. Hundreds of Irish people were killed through this policy. Each one of them deserves justice. 

“The lid will only be lifted and a light shone on collusion if the Irish government make it happen. They have to confront those within the British system who directed and controlled this policy and who are now desperately trying to cover their tracks and conceal the extent of their activities. ENDS

Full Text of Speech

Monday marks the 18th Anniversary of the murder in Belfast of Human Rights Lawyer Pat Finucane. From the minute Pat Finucane was gunned down

in front of his wife and family it became clear that he had become the latest victim in what was a very well planned, controlled and directed British State policy.

And I would wish to pay tribute to the Finucane family for the way they have conducted their campaign for the truth in the years since. They have become an inspiration for others and have given strength to other families who have stepped forward and refused to accept the lies and the cover-up. And in a way that is the real legacy of this policy. Hundreds of Irish families have been left to pick up the pieces in the wake of the terror unleashed by sectarian death squads, controlled, directed and armed by Whitehall.

And we must be very clear about the motivation behind this policy. Collusion was a policy designed to maintain the Union. That is why the belated exposure of this policy raises such fundamental questions, not just for the British government, but for ordinary unionists in the north. Britain murdered your fellow citizens in your name. That is the reality.

Nuala O’Loan’s report into the activities of a unionist death squad in North Belfast is just the tip of the iceberg. And it is just one of many reports which have come out in recent years including into the killing Pat Finucane, into the Dublin Monaghan bombing and last November’s Oireachtas report into attacks in Armagh and Louth. This committee concluded "We now have enough information to be fully satisfied not only that it (collusion) occurred, but that it was widespread."

And there are many other cases such as the killing of Sinn Féin Councillor Eddie Fullerton in 1991 and Dublin republican Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty who was killed on Pearse Street in this city in 1994.

Ten days ago I was part of a Sinn Féin delegation to Downing Street as part of our ongoing campaign to get to the truth about the deaths of hundreds of people in Ireland as a result of British state sponsored murder. Next week we will raise this issue directly with Hugh Orde. Sinn Féin will continue to stand with the families in their demand for the truth.

There are serious questions to be answered by both British and Irish governments including those Fine Gael and Labour ministers who headed the government in this state in the mid 1970s. It is time for the truth from those who sponsored state murder, from those who covered it up and those who did nothing even when they knew what was happening.

We have demanded that the British government tell us who in the British state authorized the running of death squads and the cover up of their activities.

Although 25 files were sent to the Public Prosecution Service by Sir John Stevens, why has no-one been charged?

Why has the British government refused to cooperate with the Barron investigation into the Dublin/Monaghan bombs?

There are also questions for successive Irish governments

Why was there no proper investigation into the Dublin Monaghan bombing and other attacks in this state?

Why did the Fine Gael-Labour government of the day, when they were told by the British that they had interned those who they believed were responsible for the Dublin Monaghan bombings do absolutely nothing? Why did they not seek the arrests of these men? Maybe some of those attending today’s Labour Party conference could answer that question? The families of those killed on that day want answers. They deserve the truth.

The families of those killed through collusion deserve better than words from the Irish government. They deserve action. Just as the current British government is implicated in this sordid policy by its refusal to end the concealment and cover-up the current Irish government is equally as culpable as its predecessors if it fails to deliver now for these families.

It is time for the government to demand answers. It is time for the government to stand with the victims. It is time for them to publicly back demands for an international inquiry into this scandal. Hundreds of Irish people were killed through this policy. Each one of them deserve justice.

The lid will only be lifted and a light shone on the dark collusion secrets if the Irish government make it happen. They have to confront those within the British system who directed and controlled this policy and who are now desperately trying to cover their tracks and conceal the extent of their activities. ENDS

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