Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Call for people of Tyrone to attend March for Truth

1 August, 2007

Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has called on the people of Tyrone to support the demand that the British government finally admits that collusion and shoot to kill were official government policies by attending the National Hunger Strike Commemoration being held in Belfast on Sunday 12th August.

Urging people in the county to mobilise and attend this major event, which will be attended by thousands of people from all over Ireland, the West Tyrone MP said,

"Families and communities in every part of Tyrone have paid a heavy price as a result the policies of institutionalised collusion and shoot to kill pursued by British Governments particularly during the 1980s and 1990s.

"It is no co-incidence that following the 1981 Hunger Strikes there was a massive intensification of these policies by the British government.

"In 1981 Thatcher and her regime thought that if they could defeat the Hunger Strikers they could destroy the will of the republican/nationalist community to struggle for their rights and for national independence. When they failed in this objective they thought that through a massive intensification of shoot to kill and collusion they could terrorise the republican/nationalist community into a lasting state of submission.

"The British government unleashed it's 'official forces' to shot to kill with impunity. At the same time, it directed its agencies in British Military Intelligence to fine-tune their control of loyalist paramilitary organisations so that it could pro-actively pursue, by proxy, a sustained campaign of terror against the republican/ nationalist community.

"British Intelligence not only supplied the necessary weaponry and intelligence to give the loyalist deaths squads a capacity that they never before possessed, but it also ensured that on the ground loyalist death squads were 'facilitated' free passage to and from attacks which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Irish people.

"It is fitting that the 'March for Truth' has been adopted as the theme of this years National Hunger Strike Commemoration. Those people at the heart of the British establishment who sought to defeat the Hunger Strikers were the same people who devised, sanctioned and implemented the intensification of shoot to kill and collusion policies.

"Families and communities throughout Tyrone who bore the brunt of these policies know the truth but the time is long overdue for the British government to finally admit the truth that its shoot to kill and collusion policies came directly from No 10 Downing Street. I would urge as many people as possible to make the journey to Belfast on Sunday August 12 in support of this demand for the truth." ENDS

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