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Silence Will Not Make Collusion Scandal Disappear

22 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly has said that the Castlereagh collusion scandal will not simply go away and disappear as the British Minister Ian Pearson seems to expect.

Mr Kelly said:

" Yesterday Ian Pearson informed me at the beginning of our meeting that the discussions would be brief as there was 'no story' in the allegations about a security breach in Castlereagh. It seems that the British have adopted the classic say nothing and hope that it will disappear attitude to this affair.

" When people's lives are in danger and being put at risk this is simply not acceptable. It is long past the time for Ian Pearson to come clean.

" After much effort what we do now know is the following:

  • a dossier is missing from Castereagh
  • the British do not know where it is - yet they are assured by the PSNI that nobody is at risk
  • we are led to believe that it contains the details of up to 400 people
  • nobody on the list has been informed
  • an RIR member was questioned about missing document after being discovered in a classified area of the Castlereagh complex
  • homes were raided in relation to this matter
  • the RIR is a regiment with a long history of collusion with unionist paramilitaries
  • 28 members of the RIR are currently withdrawn from duty as a result of this ongoing inquiry
  • many of these operated from spy posts in nationalist areas including Divis Tower where they could have gathered additional information not contained in the Castlereagh dossier
  • the British government through the NIO has attempted to suppress this story emerging a cover-up is undoubtedly under way

" Sinn Féin will not let this matter rest. We will be raising it with Brian Cowen this evening and we will continue to press the British government to end the pretence that nothing is wrong and face up to the reality and gravity of the situation.

" The silence and attempts at cover-up from the British government, the NIO, the PSNI and the British Army only add to the view held by nationalists and republicans that we are witnessing the emergence of yet another collusion scandal." ENDS

Editors Note: Mr Kelly is available to speak to the media outside the gates of Leinster House at 4.30pm this afternoon (Thursday 22nd July) before he meets Brian Cowen to discuss this and other matters

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